Colin’s Scorch Under a Microscope

Colin, in a comment yesterday (I threw in an inline link to Colin’s image file) wrote:

I wasn’t going to start the microscopy for a few days, Thibault, but you asked, so here’s the first using my revised technique (linen on top of heated template, damp cloth on top of linen, gentle manual pressure).

Let me say first of all that the procedure produces very faint scorches, dare I say Shroud-like, so faint that one can scarcely see them at all under a hand lens. Here’s a picture I have just taken at x40, the lowest magnification on my USB microscope.

I’d say the threads and fibres were a pale yellow, with no obvious “patchiness” or restriction to crowns of threads only, but these are early days.


Where to begin? First pour two cups of coffee or a full pint or . . .

imageWhere to begin? Read in The Guardian, from a couple of days ago, an article entitled, Saint Peter’s bones: Vatican exhumes old argument with plan to show ‘relics’. A few paragraphs in, we read what Lizzy Davis writes from Vatican City:

For the first time in nearly 2,000 years, fragments of bone held to be those of the apostle will go on public display

The story of how the bones came to be proclaimed Peter’s dates back to 1939, when Pope Pius XII ordered an excavation of an area below St Peter’s basilica thought to contain his tomb. The digging, overseen by a German monsignor, Ludwig Kaas, lasted 11 years and led, in 1950, to a stunning papal radio broadcast announcing "the tomb of the prince of the apostles" had been found.

But the pope was forced to admit his team had been unable to prove with certainty the bones were Peter’s.

Years later, Margherita Guarducci, an archaeologist and the first woman to lead Vatican excavations, began to question the original findings. She noted graffiti near the tomb reading Petr eni, which she believed was an abbreviation of Petros enesti, the Greek for "Peter is here".

She was told Kaas had been collecting bones out of concern that they were not being properly looked after, and putting them in boxes in a Vatican storeroom. Having located some bones she thought were the most interesting, she convinced Pope Paul VI to commission tests on them. These revealed, among other things, that they belonged to a robust man who died approximately in his 60s. To the outrage of Antonio Ferrua, the Jesuit father who had been the chief archaeologist on the initial excavation, Guarducci told the pope he should say the bones were believed to be Saint Peter’s. And, to the disquiet of Ferrua and some other Vatican experts, he did just that. Kaas, Ferrua and Guarducci have all since died.

Then, read over in a Guardian’s blog, Jonathan Jones on Art (a blog categorized under Art and Design which is further categorized as Culture, which means Other after News, Sports, Travel, Business and Weather):

Once, the western world was full of relics. The bones and skin, fingernails and even heads of saints were preserved, bought and sold, stolen and chreished. Relics of holy people and of Jesus Christ were at the heart of medieval Christianity. Today many relics have been discredited. Museums display empty reliquaries, crafted from gold and silver and laden with jewels – but bereft of the body parts that once gave them meaning.

Still, some relics are still cherished. They have survived sceptics, scientists and in some cases detailed exposure, to be revered as holy objects of awe. As the Vatican puts the bones of St Peter on display, here are the top 10 extant Christian relics, from holy shroud to sacred head.

I’ll list all ten but only offer Jonathan’s first description (because I’m biased):

  1. Holy Shroud of Turin:  Despite being analysed by scientists and discredited as a medieval forgery, this centuries-old cloth bearing the image of a man is still seen by many as the burial shroud of Christ. Its modern fame began when a photographer noticed it looks more detailed in negative, implying the image itself is a reversed "negative" imprint of a body, which some see as a bit beyond the capacities of medieval forgers.
  2. Head of St Catherine of Siena
  3. Blood of St Januarius
  4. The Holy Foreskin
  5. The Tongue of St Anthony of Padua
  6. The Finger of St Thomas
  7. Relics of Saint-Chapelle
  8. Body of St Mark
  9. St Cecillia
  10. . Head of St John the Baptist
    Joe Marino sent along a link to some reaction by Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith in The Catholic Herald’s blog space: What in the end is the point of relics? 

    But what in the end is the point of relics? They are revered to remind us of that great truth that the Word became Flesh, and that God entered history and left his mark on the world; that what we experience was once experience by God’s own Son, by His Blessed Mother, and by all the saints. The history of God and the history of the world are entwined. Thus relics are making a theological point, which, of course, the Guardian might find equally objectionable. But Christ really existed, He really came among us: to hate relics is in the end to hate the historicity of the Incarnation.

    And this morning I’m having trouble answering that question when it comes to the Turin Shroud: what is the point? Is is just a reminder? What more?


A walking, talking Shroud of Turin

clip_image001People who read the world famous weekly The Village Voice are sophisticated. Even so, Stephanie Zacharek (pictured), the paper’s film critic, would have caused a lot of head scratching with this image evoking sentence just a few years ago.

For his role in The Machinist, Christian Bale dropped to a sub-skeletal 122 pounds; he looked like a walking, talking Shroud of Turin.

Having only heard of the Shroud of Turin or perhaps only having seen pictures of the face is not enough. This is a full-body visual analogy. What has happened in the last few years to make so many more fully aware of the shroud?

We walk in the footsteps of giants

imageFinally. . . the big day arrived. . . . I arrived early at the assembly area and noticed a boy of about twelve – a bandage still on his head from "Bloody Sunday" – walking across the lot and headed directly for me. He had a moth-eaten blanket with a belt around it and a paper bag with his lunch. He approached and said: "Father, is anyone walking with you? My daddy’s dead, my brother is a cripple and momma has to stay home with him. I am the ‘onliest’ one who can go, and I’m scared." I took his hand, put him on the inside, and together we marched across Pettus Bridge.

— from a speech by Kim Dreisbach about the March after Bloody Sunday in 1965

John Klotz writes:


In the process of writing my manuscript, I am up to 2006 and I came upon this beautiful piece by Kim Dreisbach [pictured here]. Kim was to deliver it at a conference at Perugia, It but suffered a fatal heartache at the Atlanta Airport (as I am sure you knew). Barrie Schwortz was scheduled to meet Kim at the Rome Airport and learned of his death a half an hour before his scheduled arrival in Rome.

There is a lengthy report and tribute to Kim on the 2006 News update at

There is a link on the update to the papers that Kim was scheduled to deliver. I have just read it for the first time. I found it to be moving. eloquent and profound. If you have never linked this paper on the blog, perhaps now would be an a good time.

I would point out that it was Kim who brought to Ian Wilson’s attention the fact that Oxford had been advised of the cotton content of its sample and the cotton was not transient, promiscuous contamination but interwoven with the linen.

We walk in the footsteps of giants. I truly regret that I came too late to this endeavor to have known this man personally. But after reading his paper, I think I know him very well.

Thanks, John. We need to be reminded to remember.

And there was no interest in this blog

Just swiped this from Barrie’s STERA Facebook page.


It is interesting to see what people “pin” as interesting, in this case mostly links to videos. Here are a couple of links (You will actually need to visit Pinterest to click on them):


Not the tablecloth again.  To be fair, there are links to videos that some of us might find more appealing (boy was that a dodgy way of trying to be diplomatic). But then again there is this:


And there was no interest in this blog.

The Shroud is 8 x 2 Assyrian Whatchamacallits

“It is popular to pick whichever shroud dimensions seem appropriate,
divide them by 8 and 4 as required, and then find a cubit that fits,
pronouncing the shroud as “exactly” this or that.”

imageBernard Ruffin in his book, The Shroud of Turin, wrote:

. . . according to the measurement in use in the Middle East in the first century, eight cubits by two.

Mark Antonacci wrote in his book, The Resurrection of the Shroud:

Research indicated that the international standard unit of measurement at the time of Jesus was the Assyrian cubit (21.4 inches). When measured in Assyrian cubits, the Shroud is 8 cubits by 2 cubits, a strong indication that this standard unit was used to measure the linen cloth.

Book after book, website after website, have declared that the shroud was 8 x 2 cubits. But was it?

Hugh Farey, by way of an insightful comment this morning, writes:

The shroud was measured by Flury-Lemburg as 437cm x 111cm in 1998, and later by Barberis and Zaccone (2000), with its corners stretched slightly, as 437.7cm and 441.5cm (long sides); 112.5cm and 113cm (short sides). It is also quoted as varying in length by 2cm depending on humidity. (All information from Dr Zugibe’s ‘The Crucifixion of Jesus’).

Various cubit measurements have been found, all different lengths. The nearest I can find to the 1st century is the Roman cubit of about 44.4cm, which may be based on contemporary Egyptian cubits. Some excellent work on funerary slabs in various museums suggests that the Assyrians, whose empire dissolved some hundreds of years before Christ was born, may have had three cubits, of between 51cm and 57cm. Actual measuring bars, mostly from Egyptian tombs, are about 52cm long.

It is popular to pick whichever shroud dimensions seem appropriate, divide them by 8 and 4 as required, and then find a cubit that fits, pronouncing the shroud as “exactly” this or that. Whether there is any evidence that any 1st century cloth was woven (or buildings constructed) to any particular width, let alone an Assyrian cubit, I rather doubt. Does anybody know of any?

Must See: The Informative Mark Evans Photomicrographs

we should wonder if “the structure of the TS fibers itself and/or the presence
of a thin layer of impurities at the surface of the whole fabric
play a crucial role in the image forming process.”

imageThibault Heimburger has put together an extraordinary collection of Mark Evans photomicrographs (from 1978) to which he has added some comments. I had hoped to simply display all of the pictures here along with the captions. So far, I haven’t succeeded. These are large scale images contained in a single PDF file and I have not been able to extract some of them from the file. Nonetheless, I can provide you with the PDF file and you can view the images that way.

You should note the following from the first page of the PDF:


©Thibault Heimburger- November 2013 (for the captions and comments).

All the pictures are ©STERA, Inc. They are shown here with the kind authorization of Barrie Schwortz.

They can be used only for research purpose.

The pictures are shown “as received” although I have used a GIMP filter with the same parameters for all of the pictures to slightly improve the sharpness.

The single image on this blog page is a small piece of the image in Figure 4-1 in the PDF.

If I can find a better way to exhibit all the photographs, I will do so. In the meantime, load up the PDF file and explore. This, at least, should get the conversation going.

If you want the URL to paste into your viewer/browser of choice it is:

Barrie Schwortz on EWTN Recently

He joins Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe to discuss the shroud on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the American-based television network of around-the-clock Catholic-themed programming. The 56 minute broadcast was November 6, 2013.

PBS: The real story of King Tut has become shrouded in myth, with many mysteries around his tomb unsolved to this day

imageA reader writes:

From reading your response to Colin Berry from today’s blog (15/Nov 2013) I was reminded of a documentary about Tutankhamun ("Secrets of the dead") arguing that embalming oils combined with oxygen and linen could have caused a chemical reaction which "cooked" the king’s body at temperatures of more than 200C.

Here’s a link: [CLICK HERE]

They talk about spontaneous combustion about 50 min into the program.

You may recall that the PBS Secrets of the Dead series did a program on the Shroud of Turin. Although you can watch almost any of the programs, online, the one about the Shroud does not seem to be available except by purchase. But there is much to read about the shroud on the PBS site. 


Vinny: The mystery of the Shroud of Turin has been solved

can anyone tell me what the digital DNA video is about?

imageHe has been bugging me for months to feature his material. I have asked him a couple of questions. I do that sometimes. I certainly don’t post every shroud-related video or blog posting that comes along.

I did feature him in 2011. In May of this year I posted The Worldwide Conspiracy to Ignore Vincenzo Giovanni Ruello. He is bugging me again, almost daily. So with no consideration to anyone here, I give you Vinny:

One recent message encouraging me to feature his website reads:

. . . You guys are the old crowd and the sooner you fade away from the Shroud the better for us all. I represent the new breed of researchers and my day is patiently coming. Ps your site Dan has turned into rotten tabloid journalism, anymore Hollywood movies to promote or disgraceful cheap books Dan, I once respected your site but now more and more I am seeing all these anti Shroud books and movies your promoting but your an Episcoplian arent you and I am not impressed with some of them as in your country they set up in my opinion fake Christian churches and marry gays. Print this but I think you may be a coward.

And another one read:

This is good though you probably hate me Dan ” How God Made The Shroud of Turin ” go on Dan it must be a slow day here I’m sure your fans will love ripping it to shreds and you too.

Oh, go ahead. It is only 27 seconds long. No there is nothing wrong with the sound on your PC. This is a silent film. I think it is supposed to be self explanatory. How could anyone rip this apart?

Anyway, here is his website where he tells us:

I am honored to be the first person in history to have discovered and revealed the actual miraculous and unexplainable images of Jesus Christ ALIVE in the Vatican Veronica Veil and the” second face “from the Shroud of Turin back. Have been involved in experimental research of film and video images since 1987 and have gained a vast amount of knowledge and expertise.

The mystery of the Shroud of Turin has been solved by my decoding of the Vatican Veronica Veil in 2011…it is the same man and face. . . .

It’s a negative. It’s 3D. Yes? Maybe? Sort Of?











So is Colin Berry onto something in his kitchen with this statuette taken from a crucifix? We see it being heated on a stove and then we see a scorch made with it in cloth.

See A challenging scorch assignment that I had been putting off, and off, and off…

In his blog posting there is a very impressive 3D image made with ImageJ (a VP-8 like tool):


I’m impressed.

But then again: maybe in the Resurrection the body didn’t dematerialize, maybe there was no radiation but heat instead, and maybe the body turned to hot gold or platinum or titanium or iron for an instant. I’m not really suggesting this. It is wild speculation only offered to make a point. Somehow flax fibers (or impurities upon them) seem to have been dehydrated and oxidized and by science we can surely find ways to do that. That cannot mean that one of those ways is certainly how it was done. It can never mean that. But, granted, science does deal in probabilities that are usually near the certainty end of the reality spectrum. Good show, Colin.

There are still countless issues with what Colin has done. The fact that there is no image under the blood might be one such issue. But is that really even a fact? We don’t know for sure. What we do know for sure is that our knowledge is growing.

In the end our newly developed knowledge may not provide an answer. Science is limited. So is history. If the shroud image is a true miracle and not some accidental byproduct of the snap, krackle and pop of the Resurrection (no rudeness intended) or some natural gaseous phenomenon, we must realize that God, nonetheless, had to have a way of coloring the image for mortals to see. God, too, may have his methods.

Science deals in probabilities. Miracles deal in improbabilities. I believe in both. Nice work, Colin.

Copy of the Shroud of Turin in New Jersey

imageA reader asks:

I was told that there was a copy of the shroud in New Jersey that contained a small amount of blood from the Holy Shroud. Do you guys know anything about it?

“You guys?” Let me guess: Asbury Park. Right?

Anyway. I did a post two years ago; it was from a press release on October 14th, 2011.

The copy you are looking fro is in Summit, New Jersey. That is just 56 minutes away from yous guyses – that is the correct spelling — just a little bit to the south of Parsippany.

Here it is again:

imageSummit, New Jersey – Oct 13, 2011 – The nearly 400 year-old copy of the Shroud of Turin which has been the possession of the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary is now on display for public veneration in the monastery chapel.

The Dominican Nuns are a cloistered, contemplative community of 20 nuns.

This Shroud replica was commissioned by the Most Serene Infanta, Maria Maddalena of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, wife of Cosimo de’ Medici in April, 1624. To give the copy greater value it was placed for a time on the Shroud of Turin.

What makes this replica treasured and venerated to this day is the fact that it came into physical contact with the Holy Shroud of Turin. When it was removed it was found that the wound in the side, as it is seen on the Holy Shroud had become damp as though with blood, and that this effusion had stained the copy. In 1987, scientists from the STURP team affirmed that the stain was indeed that of human blood and of the same blood type as on the Holy Shroud.

It was the Duchess Maria Magdalena, a close friend of the Nuns of St. Catherine’s Monastery, Rome who presented this copy to the monastery. This copy was venerated by the Nuns for nearly 300 years.

In gratitude for the generous help of the fledging Monastery in Summit, New Jersey after World War I, the Dominican Nuns of St. Catherine’s Monastery gave it to the Summit Dominican Nuns on April 6, 1924.

Between June 1924 and March 1926 a great deal of research took place toward re-affirming the relic’s authenticity. The Procurator General of the Order of Preachers, Rev. Father Philip Caterini, O.P. was able to re-establish authenticity of the copy by documents found in the State Archives at Turin. Bishop John O’Connor, Bishop of Newark authorized its public veneration and the Holy Father granted rich indulgences for its veneration.

For many years the Shroud copy has been kept within the enclosure and available for private viewing only.

The Shroud copy is now on permanent display in the public chapel of the Dominican Nuns. The chapel is open from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily.

For further information contact the Dominican Nuns, 543 Springfield Ave., Summit, NJ 07901. Or see Moniales Ordinis Praedicatorum: 400 year-old Copy of the Shroud of Turin On Public Display At Dominican Monastery

Colin Berry is Writing to the Vatican

imageHe tells us that he is writing to the Vatican to encourage a new round of carbon dating. I think that’s great. I’d like to see it. But I have a different perspective. I spent my entire career in business. I worked for a major corporation for 25 years and I ran a small company for another decade. I’m not a scientist by training but I’ve learned a great deal from scientists who have worked for me – mainly I learned how much I don’t know. I’m in awe of people like Hugh, Colin and Kelly.

Business people tend to look at things differently. Would we “bet the farm” on a single proposition?  And we business people love to make bullet and number charts and think like the world is a big organization chart. Perhaps it comes from our inadequacies in science. So here is how I’d like to see a new round of tests organized:

Create an international, multidisciplinary umbrella organization (e.g. STURP 2). Within it there should be a Provenance Group organized  into three sections, as follows:

A) Direct Scientific Methods to be considered and possibly used:

  1. Radiocarbon dating
  2. Vanillin
  3. Micromechanical Properties Analysis
  4. Other?
  • Limitations and Advantages. Reliability.
  • Important question for each method is appropriateness for ancient flax fiber,
  • Potential problems such as thymol (C14), extreme temperature (Vanillin), etc.
  • Completely transparent protocols published in advance.
  • Actual tests outsourced to labs as needed (no lab involvement in sampling or writing protocols).

B) Historical Support Analytics

  1. Pollens (new samples and re-examination of Frei and Rogers tapes)
  2. Banding. Thread following filtering as opposed to FFT methods. Identify all hank changes (laying in) to see if they match changes in color that would support hank bleaching theory. 
  3. High magnification, high quality, photography of eyes and places where some plants have been identified. Can we see anything meaningful?
  4. Other?

C) Other Considerations

  1. The Sudarium. What can be tested to see if these cloths did indeed contact each other?
  2. Historical Documents such as the Hungarian Pray Manuscript. How good a visual match?
  3. Other?

Since people in the Vatican and the Archdiocese of Turin read this blog almost daily (yes, I know that), I’ll just let this posting substitute for my letter. And you all get to comment.

What Lab Director is So Crazy?

imageBT writes from New London:

We say it and sometimes mean it. Redo the carbon dating. But what lab director is so crazy at to want to do it? Suppose the results turn out about the same; it would be 1989 all over, but this time on steroids. Consider the Hungarian Pray Manuscript. In the eyes of many people it proves that a 13th or 14th century provenance is wrong. The HPM is so convincing that people, forced to abandon the patch theory if the results are the same, will latch onto the notion that the resurrection added carbon 14 to the cloth. They will do so by the millions. And there are all the questions about Thymol, Vanillin, the Manchester Mummies, etc. etc. etc. A lab director knows that even if every i is dotted and every t crossed he or she will face years of harsh public criticism and condemnation. There is no percentage in that.

And what if the results turn out to be first century? Every skeptic alive will be crawling through the details looking for a bribe or evidence of swapped samples. Some will even be trying to prove that the shroud is a first century forgery made with a heated brass statue and some leeches employed as blood dispensers.

Catching Up on My Reading

make note before the tides of time wash away the footsteps

clip_image001From John Klotz’s Quantum Christ blog, read on an iPhone through drug induced teary, dilated eyes* while waiting for the iDoctor (groan, there must be more to those drops). From a  posting entitled, Two Popes and a Priest: Someone let the Holy Spirit Out.:

There are two outstanding accomplishments of Pius XI that argue for his sagacity, if not his sanctity. Let’s take the Shroud first. As a young man, Achille had climbed the Alps with  with another young adventurer, Paul Vignon. Vignon suffered a physical and nervous breakdown. While recuperating who took of painting and later worked as a assistant to the famous French biologist Yves Delage. Delage asked Vignon to investigate the authenticity of  the Pia photographs and the rest is history (covered in my manuscript in Chapters Five (Maelstrom) and Six (Resurrection of the Shroud).

It was as Pius XI, that he requested the 1933 exposition of the Shroud and it was at that exhibition a young Turinese seminarian, Peter Rinaldi encountered both Paul Vignon and future giant of Shroud studies Pierre Barbet.

Perhaps Pius XI most acclaimed act occurred during his dying days in 1938 when working with an American Jesuit priest he prepared an encyclical denouncing the Nazi’s for the their incipient Jewish pogrom and the neo-paganism which they represented. His secretary of state of Cardinal Pacelli who became Pius XII was not pleased. He has been also proposed for sainthood by Vatican clerics but since I can not say anything good about him, I’ll remain silent.

Peter Rinaldi after graduating from the seminary came to America. He publicized the Shroud in an article  published in US Sign Magazine while he was  still in seminary. His article created a firestorm of interest in the United States and led directly to the formation of the Hold Shroud Guild in the US. I will simply state that without Rinaldi’s tireless leadership and encouragement there might not have been a film Silent Witness and there certainly would not have been a STURP scientific investigation of the Shroud in 1978. It was his unique position as a priest in the US with connections in Turin that was instrumental but most instrumental perhaps was his gift for finding funds to finance both the STURP and Silent Witness.

* So one cataract is gone and in that eye, through the miracle of mutilfocal plastic implants, I now have 20/20 vision without glasses and can read without glasses. The other eye will be done next week and I will be a teenager all over again.


More from Danusha Goska

imageAt the risk of repeating myself, again and perhaps again (and does anyone care – it’s a blog) as I said before, I first encountered the writings of Danusha Goska more than a decade ago when I read a comment about the shroud published by Barrie Schwortz (it is about 1/3 of the way down the page). I’ve discussed her in ‘If the shroud is a forgery, where are its precedents?’ two and a half years ago. There was Bieganski the Blog: The Shroud of Turin and Catholics, Atheists, Censorship and the Shroud of Turin: Who Censored Whom? by Danusha in Send Save Delete.

Now (three days ago) in Send Save Delete there is another posting on the shroud by Danusha. She is reading Ian Wilson’s 476-page, 2010 book "The Shroud: Fresh Light on the 2000-Year-Old Mystery."

When the carbon dating came out in 1988, I was living in Poland, participating in the riots that helped bring down the Soviet Empire, and the Shroud was the last thing on my mind.

It wasn’t till a televised documentary in the late 1990’s that a friend recorded and sent to me (thank you Don Freidkin) that I really got bitten by the Shroud bug. I read two Shroud books, one by Mark Antonacci (review here) and an earlier book by Ian Wilson (review here.)

I loved both of those books but they left me fifty percent convinced that the Shroud was what its adherents say it is, and fifty percent willing to be convinced that we were missing something terribly obvious and it really wasn’t all that.

I watched documentaries on youtube. Barrie Schwortz, Shroud expert, Orthodox Jew, and STURP photographer, allowed me to grill him long distance in an interview that lasted over an hour, during which Barrie insisted, "After years of study, I am absolutely certain that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ."

Thomas de Wesselow’s book "The Sign" pushed me ever closer to believing that the Shroud is genuine. Interesting, because de Wesselow is not a believer. (Review of his book here.)

The book that is pushing the needle to 99% certainty is the one I’m reading now, and can’t wait to talk about, even though I’m not finished with it yet. Ian Wilson’s "The Shroud: Fresh Light on the 2000-Year-Old-Mystery."

About Danusha Goska from the Green Briar Review (from where the picture comes):

Danusha Goska’s writing has appeared in national publications like Sojourners and The Sun, in scholarly journals, such as The Journal of Popular Culture, Polin, and New York Folklore, and on websites such as,, and Beliefnet.

Danusha has received hundreds of letters in response to "Political Paralysis," anthologized in The Impossible Will Take a Little While. Though the anthology contains works by Mandela, Neruda, and Martin Luther King, editor Paul Loeb wrote, "Goska is unknown, but more people have responded to her piece than any other in the book…when I’m interviewed on radio shows, people mention it as their personal favorite."

Danusha has won the New Jersey State Council on the Arts grant, the Eva Kagan Kans Award, The PAHA Halecki Award, and others. She holds an MA from UC Berkeley, a PhD from IU Bloomington, and she teaches at WPUNJ.

Of Enchiladas, Listerine and Don’t Mess with Texas

imageThey, whoever they are, say there are no coincidences. I don’t believe it. Even so, I thought I had heard it before, something in a quip about thymol overheard from someone in the audience during Barrie Schwortz’ talk in Savannah last week.

“It is only Listerine,” someone said. I had said something about thymol being used in Listerine, in the past, hadn’t I.

Yesterday, John Klotz, emailed me to ask about a press release I issued after Dallas. (He is working on his book.) The purpose of that press release was to publicize something I wrote in a blog space back in the day when I was trying to get a blog going. I called it, “An Enchilada Comes to Mind: Dallas Shroud of Turin Conference 2005.” And in it I mentioned Listerine.

I mentioned Listerine! Yep! Did I cause that quip? Probably not. I doubt anyone noticed anything I wrote back in 2005. And then there is the fact that some people actually use that awful tasting mouthwash and if so they must be the sort of people who actually read ingredient labels.

Since nobody read my posting back in 2005 and because Klotz will probably ask about that next, here is an encore presentation of “An Enchilada Comes to Mind: Dallas Shroud of Turin Conference 2005.”

The 2005 Dallas Conference on the Shroud of Turin was like hot stuff wrapped in a corny don’t-mess-with-Texas tortilla, awash in a salsa of controversy.

imageDon’t mess with Texas? Yup; there was a gun-totting sheriff-type in the grand ballroom of the elegant Adolphus Hotel ready to boot out any of the approximately 100 college professors or scholars from around the world who might dare to ask a question. Questions from the floor were not allowed. When University of Hong Kong archeologist William Meacham asked why an armed guard was needed, conference organizer Michael Minor explained he was there to prevent ‘insulting’ controversy and criticism.

But controversy and criticism happened. It erupted like a Texas-style Wild West shootout.

Conference organizers, hoping for focus, had told the media that the question before the conference was: “Is the shroud proof of a resurrection or a medieval fake?” Minor told a reporter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “"I am a lawyer, and I believe I can prove that the shroud is authentic in a court of law.”

But no one cared much about that topic. Most scientist and other scholars at the conference, representing a broad spectrum of Catholic, Anglican, Protestant and Evangelical Christians, agreed that it might well be genuine, though not proven. And if it were proven, they understood that it might not be proof of the resurrection of Jesus. They were here to share and learn.

imageBut, also, they were here to express their views on a growing feud between the Papal Custodians of the Shroud of Turin and scientists. The feud was like an old fashioned Texas turf war. Turin officials – not to be confused with the Vatican or the larger Church – were the Texas farmers controlling the flow of water and stringing barbwire to keep cattle from grazing in their fields. The scientists, archeologists and a fair number of historians were the cowboys singing, “Don’t Fence Me In.” A shootout was inevitable.

To kick off the conference, Fort Worth Bishop Kevin W. Vann read a letter from the Vatican Secretariat of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano: “His Holiness [Pope Benedict XVI] trusts,” the letter said, “that the Dallas Conference will advance cooperation and dialogue among various groups engaged in scientific research on the Shroud . . .”

It happened, but not in a way that pleased Turin officials. At one point, Monsignor Ghiberti got up and walked out of the room.

In another letter given to attendees, Turin’s, Cardinal Severino Poletto quoted the late Pope John Paul II as saying, “the Church does not have specific competence to pronounce on these questions. It entrusts to scientists the task of continuing to investigate to find suitable answers to questions regarding the Shroud.”

So why were the Papal Custodians apparently not ready to accept what the scientists were saying? Was it because it challenged their competence and certain assumptions about the Shroud?

There were two hot questions at the root of the feud:

  1. Why was Turin ignoring the scientific reason for the failure of the 1988 carbon 14 dating?
  2. Was the 2002 restoration of the cloth archeologically, scientifically and preservation-wise reckless?
    These were scientific matters. Why were Turin officials ignoring their own stated opinion that the Church did not have competence in scientific matters? Why were the Turinese summarily dismissing scientific findings?
    Scientists wanted to ask questions. But questions from the floor were not allowed. You don’t invite academic researchers from around the world to a conference and treat them this way. Many are university professors or well published scholars who have studied the Shroud for many years.
    Scientific competence was the issue.
    Researchers now believe that in the 16th century, a corner of the Shroud had been expertly repaired using a mending technique known as “invisible reweaving.” It was from this repaired corner that the carbon 14 samples were taken. This resulted in a mixed sample of both new and old fibers leading to erroneous carbon 14 dating in 1988.
    Turin wasn’t buying it even though they agreed that the carbon 14 dating was wrong. They had not seen the repairs when they examined the Shroud. Invisible reweaving, they argued, would have been noticeable. But scientists disagree. It takes microscopic, spectral and chemical analysis to identity invisible reweaving. And the scientists have photomicrographs and plenty of test results to prove it.
    In 2002, Turin undertook a secret restoration of the Shroud. Archeologists, scientists and scholars of all sorts were horrified when they learned of it after the fact. It was reckless, they say. Meacham called it disastrous. It cannot be undone. Some scientists suggest that the restoration may have created problems that should be addressed to avoid potential future damage to the cloth.
    But the Archdiocese of Turin was not willing to embrace what scientists had to say. It seemed reminiscent of a time in history, when Cardinal Bellarmine forbid Galileo to hold Copernican views and when he tried to ignore Galileo’s telescope.
    The modern Galileo was the late Raymond N. Rogers, a lifelong chemist, a Fellow of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a highly respected scientist for his unwavering dedication to scientific methods. Turin authorities were trying to ignore his microscope and micro-chemical studies; studies published in a secular, peer-reviewed, scientific journal; studies independently confirmed by others such as John L. Brown, retired Principal Research Scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Energy and Materials Sciences Laboratory who examined samples from the Shroud with a Scanning Electron Microscope.
    What was the reason that Turin refused to consider the scientific data?

    In the past few years, the custodians of the Shroud have faced significant public criticism from archeologists, scientists and all manner of Shroud researchers. Not only were they criticized for the restoration and the way the carbon 14 samples were selected, they were criticized for an unscientific, cavalier rejection of Rogers’ findings — findings that actually support the Shroud’s authenticity. Rogers had proved that what had been carbon 14 dated in 1988 was chemically unlike the rest of cloth Moreover, Rogers showed that the Shroud had certainly been artfully and discretely repaired.
    Turin authorities were also criticized for treating the Shroud’s reliquary with thymol. Thymol (3-Hydroxy-1-methyl-4-isopropyl benzene), the active stuff of Listerine antiseptic mouthwash, is a phenolic compound that will react with many functional chemical groups on the Shroud. According to Rogers, it permeated the cloth. “This will confuse image analyses, and it may result in damage to the cloth,” he had written shortly before his death in early 2005.
    The first shootout occurred during the evening of the first day. It was during an after-hours presentation that had been billed as a tribute to the late Ray Rogers. Minor, the conference moderator, and his armed guard were not present. Nearly everyone else showed up.
    It wasn’t a tribute at all. It was a DVD of Rogers interviewed by Barrie Schwortz shortly before Rogers’ death. Schwortz never claimed it was a tribute. It was titled, “Ray Rogers in His Own Words.” Rogers’ words were scientifically precise. He expanded his criticism of the Thymol treatment of the Shroud’s reliquary, stating that because Thymol was absorbed into the cloth, it might make future dating problematic. And Rogers offered a blistering criticism on the secretive, poorly documented, unnecessary, potentially damaging restoration of the Shroud.
    Rogers explained the invisible reweaving in chemical terms and why the reweaving had fooled the carbon 14 dating. 1) Everyone knew that those findings were independently confirmed by Brown; 2) confirmed by textile experts; 3) confirmed by ultraviolet photography; 4) confirmed with x-rays. 5) Statistical studies of carbon 14 measurements suggested anomalous age patterns in the sample and everyone knew that. 6) Most everyone knew, that in 1988, Teddy Hall, then the director of Oxford University’s Radiocarbon Laboratory had seen cotton fibers that might be from mending. 7) Almost everyone knew that a 1988 article in Textile Horizons by P.H. South entitled “Rogue Fibers Found in Shroud,” suggested that those cotton fibers were suspicious and might have been part of repairs. 8) Some knew that in 1998, Turin’s own scientific advisor, Piero Savarino, wrote, “extraneous substances found on the samples and the presence of extraneous thread (left over from ‘invisible mending’ routinely carried on in the past on parts of the cloth in poor repair).” 9) Many knew, too, that longtime researchers Sue Benford and Joe Marino had made a strong case for invisible reweaving. 10) And many knew of an earlier paper by Rogers and Anna Arnoldi of the University of Milan, published in 2002, that confirmed Benford and Marino.
    Many knew that in 2004, the Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology published an important paper by Lloyd A. Currie. Currie, a highly regarded specialist in the field of carbon 14 dating and an NIST Fellow Emeritus, cited the Rogers and Arnoldi paper giving it additional scientific standing and credence.
    Currie’s NIST paper was significant in other ways. It set aside any argument that the labs had done anything wrong or that there was anything uncertain about carbon 14 dating. It debunked other hypotheses circulating in the polemic rumor mill such as the notion that a biological polymer on the fibers was the cause of a measurement failure. And it brought into focus the issue of sampling. A serious violation of the original scientific sampling protocol had occurred in Turin. Had the proper protocol calling for multiple sample locations been followed by Turin, the single bad sample would not have caused the problems it did. (Three labs conducted the test on one sample that had been divided into pieces).
    By the time Currie’s paper was published, Rogers was well on his way to proving that the carbon 14 tests were wrong. In December of 2003, he received material that had been reserved from the center of the carbon 14 sample. It would take a year for testing, independent confirmation and peer review. In January 2005, Thermochimica Acta (an Elsevier BV journal) published Rogers’ proof.
    What had been carbon 14 dated was chemically unlike the Shroud. Thus the Shroud had not been dated. Moreover, Rogers found clear evidence of mending. Dyestuff used by medieval tapestry craftsmen to discreetly mend old tapestries was found. Rogers found Madder root dyes, aluminum hydroxide and gum Arabic. He found cotton fibers twisted in with flax fibers in the threads. And he found splices. Where newer thread had been spliced to older thread, one end was dyed to match the other end. Benford and Marino were right. The Shroud was mended and it was the repaired area, a mixture of old and new thread, that had been tested.
    Over a hundred researchers and thousands of people who follow shroud research were aghast when, within days of Rogers’ paper, Turin’s Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti pronounced a summary judgment on Rogers’ findings. He said, “I am astonished that an expert like Rogers could fall into so many inaccuracies in his article. I can only hope, indeed, also think that the C14 dating is rectifiable (the method, in fact, has its own uncertainties), but not on the basis of the ‘darn’ [sic, darning is altogether a different method of repair] theory."
    How can Ghiberti possibly know this? He offered no evidence or explanation. So, now, people at the conference wanted to ask him about it. It wasn’t that questions were not allowed at the conclusion of the interview with Rogers. Neither the conference moderator nor the conference sheriff were there for the evening presentation. And Ghiberti, representing Turin’s Cardinal Poletto, could have invited questions and no one would have objected.
    Ghiberti walked out.
    The ranking representative for of the Papal Custodian of the Shroud of Turin got up and walked out of the room. It was the wrong thing to do. Some felt he should have stayed to defend his archbishop, the diocesan staff, its advisors and ultimately the decision that later he defensively characterized as a decision by the Holy See. People would have respected that. More so, they would have respected and probably admired someone in his position exerting leadership, the sort of leadership characterized by open discussion with the audience; questions such as, “What mistakes have we made?” and “What can learn from them?” Poletto had asked for harmony and dialogue at this conference. But Ghiberti, as they say in Texas, skedaddled.
    The Rogers interview will soon be on the World Wide Web. By the time of the Winter Olympics in Turin, in February of 2006, a Google search on the word “Turin” will be but two or three clicks away from the interview — in full living color, in easy to watch streaming media.
    Defense of the Turin position, on the next morning, fell to Dr. Mechthild Flury-Lemberg. Flury-Lemberg is a renowned textile conservator. Ghiberti once described her as “the greatest world-wide authority in the ancient cloth field.” She stated that she did not see invisible reweaving.
    But that is just the point. She should not have noticed invisible reweaving without the tools of science. Without the freedom to ask questions and get answers, the whole substance of her argument was reduced to a visual polemic.
    Later in the conference, Alan Whanger, Professor Emeritus at Duke University, surprised everyone with a powerful analysis from x-ray photographs that clearly showed weaving anomalies, the exact sort of anomalies expected from reweaving. It seemed that Flury-Lemberg and the Turin folks stood alone on this issue. Turin officials had not expected Whanger to include this information in his presentation.
    Flury-Lemberg had also argued that invisible reweaving skills were not known in medieval Europe. But in an unscheduled, after-hours, off-the-record presentation, researchers Marino and Benford presented a paper supporting medieval use of invisible reweaving on the Shroud. Museums in Europe, they pointed out, have many examples of tapestries repaired in this way.
    Flury-Lemberg took the most heat for the 2002 restoration. She had recommended it and she led the work effort. It is certainly true that most people at the conference felt that the restoration was a mistake. Some were very angry. That having been said, however, it is important to remember that Flury-Lemberg is a highly regarded professional and as such she should have received more respect than she did. Audible snickers during her talk — inevitable since real comments were not allowed — were unfortunate.
    It is easy to imagine that Flury-Lemberg, being a professional, would subscribe to the idea of second opinions. The Turin folks, one might think, would also value second opinions. How many people have been saved from unnecessary and sometimes reckless surgery because they sought second opinions? How many lives were saved by people who sought second opinions to avoid possible misdiagnosis? Turin had put all their eggs in one basket, Flury-Lemberg, and for that they should be and have been publicly criticized. She should not have accepted such a situation.
    Flury-Lemberg as a professional, and given the chance, would certainly have welcomed open discussion. Instead, she was called upon to take to the podium for a second time during the conference to dispel hallway rumors about the restoration. Minor, speaking from the dais, asked about a dozen questions that seemed trumped up and exaggerated. They sounded like the all-to-often self-serving “frequently asked questions” or FAQs so common on many websites. Was the Shroud vacuumed all over? Of course not! Who was asking such questions? It is hard to imagine. These staged questions brought back the audible snickers to the room.
    “Can I ask a question,” said archeologist Bill Meacham from the back of the room to Flury-Lemberg.
    She looked at Minor quizzically.
    “No,” was the answer from Minor. Questions from the floor were not allowed. And certainly, had Meacham persisted, the sheriff of the conference would have removed him from the room. He had already been warned.

Another shootout.

Another shootout occurred over a list of scientific facts compiled by Giulio Fanti. He is Professor of Mechanical and Thermic Measurements at the University of Padua in Italy. He has authored over a hundred scientific papers, many of them published in distinguished peer-reviewed, international scientific journals. He had spent much of the last two years in consultation with dozens of people as he compiled the list of facts.

Giulio Fanti is the epitome of old world charm, one of the nicest, most gentle mannered university professors one might ever meet. For the conference, he submitted the list as a paper coauthored by twenty-four researchers. It was initially accepted. Then it was rejected. After considerable pressure from others, the conference organizers agreed that it could be read into the proceedings. Only after Fanti arrived from Italy, and even though the paper was listed in the program, he was told it would not be allowed. When he asked why he was told it was too political. Political?

You don’t treat people this way. You certainly don’t treat a respected professor from the University of Padua in this way. Here is an instance where Monsignor Ghiberti, because of his high clerical position, could have exercised leadership in the interest of science and common decency. He was silent. Fanti described the situation as a lack of cooperation by the “Turin Authorities.” It certainly seems so.

Fortunately, in a privately funded room, after the banquet, away from the conference venue, Fanti was able to present his paper to a large gathering. This paper will get wide circulation on the Internet and many will wonder why some people didn’t want it to be presented. Was it because the scientific facts support invisible reweaving? Was it more embarrassment for the Papal Custodian of the Shroud?

At the very end of the conference, just before a scheduled banquet, Father Kim Dreisbach, an Episcopal priest, was presenting a paper. Because time was tight, it had been announced that closing remarks by Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone could be moved to the banquet forum. This was necessitated by the extra time needed for Flury-Lemberg’s return to the podium. Dreisbach had gone over his time limit by a couple of minutes when the chair cut him off to allow Bollone to speak immediately. It was completely unnecessary. Many other presenters had gone well over their time limits without objection from the dais. Dreisbach could have finished. It was no way to treat a respected researcher who had spent much of his life studying the Shroud. Was it his biblical perspectives with shades of contemporary revisionism that troubled the conference organizers? Some think so. In protest, many people got up and left the room before the closing remarks.

Was there anything good that came out of the conference? Absolutely.

More than two dozen excellent historical and scientific papers were presented. In the weeks ahead, these papers will begin to see the light of day. They add to our knowledge of this enigmatic cloth.

There is no empirical proof yet that the Shroud is a first century burial cloth. But there is enough data to infer that it is. There is, in fact, enough information to reasonably infer that it is the burial cloth of Jesus. And if you can infer that you can infer that for some reason it was separated from Jesus’ body and it survived the tomb. That is powerful stuff.

We don’t know how the images of a crucified man were formed on the fabric. So far, scientist can do little but offer hypotheses. But we do know that the images are a caramel-like product within a coating of starch and sugar that is thinner than most bacteria. Chemically it seems like the browning that takes place when amine vapors such as cadaverine and putrescine react with the coating. But how the right molecules got to just the right places in just the right amounts to form such a picture is still a mystery.

This cloth is too valuable to all Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical Christians; to valuable to all people of faith and too valuable in the quest for the historical Jesus to be cared for without second opinions and open discussion. This may be the most important lesson learned from this conference.

I think most people would agree that whatever it is that we know about it, it is not a substitute for faith. We may never be able to prove, by the Shroud, that Jesus is the Christ or that he rose to new life. But it is nice to learn what we can.

Cardinal Poletto wrote: “The fascination of the mysterious image that regards us from the Holy Shroud strikes people of every religious faith and culture, in particular those who experience the presence of Jesus of Nazareth in their personal lives and who believe that His life on earth represented the culminating moment of human history.”

And the Vatican Secretariat of State, Cardinal Sodano told us that “His Holiness [the current Pope Benedict XVI] trusts that the Dallas Conference will advance cooperation and dialogue among various groups engaged in scientific research on the Shroud . . .”

It happened in a way that Turin could not have hoped for.

Barrie Schwortz’ Last Speaking Engagement in 2013

imageBy way of Facebook, Barrie let’s us know:

My last speaking engagement of the year takes place on November 16th in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. Organized by Rev. Chris Heeb of Good News For Israel. I will speak from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Emmaus Church, 8443 2nd Avenue South, Bloomington, MN. Admission is free but space is limited so register online for tickets at the Good News For Israel website – I hope to see some of you there.

A Russian Orthodox Perspective on the Shroud of Turin

imageVladimir Moss offers an interesting perspective on how he, being a Russian Orthodox Christian, understands the shroud:

A recent book on the Turin Shroud, the most detailed and comprehensive yet[Ian Wilson, The Shroud: the 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved], raises again the question: how should we, as Orthodox Christians, evaluate and react to this extraordinary object? In the 1970s the ROCOR [*] Deacon (now OCA “Archbishop”) Lev Puhalo wrote several articles against it, labelling it a medieval forgery. And in this judgement he has been followed by many people, including many scientists. However, nobody has yet been able to give us even a remotely plausible answer to the question: if it is a forgery, how was it made? And until somebody answers this question, the central question: is it the authentic burial shroud of Christ? must remain open…

This is not simply a scientific matter. For many, including the present writer, the most powerful argument for the Shroud’s authenticity is its quite extraordinary beauty, a beauty of an altogether higher nature than that of any merely human artefact. Now many may retort: beauty is in the eye of the beholder, its perception is a purely subjective matter. But this is not true. When the envoys of St. Vladimir came back to Kiev from Constantinople, recommending that their prince adopt the Orthodox Faith on account of the extraordinary beauty of the services, they were not being frivolous or naive.

Beauty – transcendent, spiritual beauty – is an argument, and a powerful one. For we all instinctively understand that truth must be beautiful, otherwise it is not truth. The foremost book of Orthodox spirituality, the Philokalia, means “the love of beauty”. True beauty is precisely a vision of truth, of the reality of things in and through created matter. God is discerned in the beauty of holiness.

[ . . . ]

“That is all very well”, says the sceptic, “but the Shroud is a ‘holy’ object owned, not by the Orthodox Church but by the Pope, of which there is no record in the Orthodox East, and which has been proven by carbon-14 to have been created in the fourteenth century. The onus is on you to prove that it is in fact Orthodox in provenance and dates to the first century. . . .

* Who or what is ROCOR? According to Wikipedia:

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (Russian: Ру́сская Правосла́вная Це́рковь Заграни́цей, Russkaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov’ Zagranitsey), also called the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, ROCA, or ROCOR, is a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

ROCOR was formed as a jurisdiction of Eastern Orthodoxy as a response against the policy of Bolsheviks with respect to religion in the Soviet Union soon after the Russian Revolution of 1917, and separated from the Russian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1927 after an imprisoned metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) pledged the Church’s qualified loyalty to the Bolshevik state. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia officially signed the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate on May 17, 2007, restoring the canonical link between the churches. Critics of the reunification argue that the issue of KGB infiltration of the Moscow Patriarchate church hierarchy has not been addressed by the Russian Orthodox Church.[2]

The Church has around 400 parishes worldwide, and an estimated membership of over 400,000 people.[2] Of those, 138 parishes and 10 monasteries are in the United States, with 27,700 adherents and 9,000 regular church attendees.[1] Within the ROCOR there are 13 hierarchs, and also monasteries and nunneries in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe and South America.[3]

Picture is a chapel at ROCOR’s headquarters (from Wikipedia)

The Mysterious Arizona Piece

if you want an hour’s worth of reading old blog entries,
 Jull in this blog’s search box above and to the right.

imageJoe Marino made sure that members of the Shroud Science Group were aware of the thread of discussion going on under "Cementing Over Central Park" and in particular Hugh Farey’s response to a question about the sample retained by the University of Arizona. This prompted Helmut Felzmann (pictured here) to send the following email to the group. With his kind permission, I am reproducing it here:

Dear Researchers,

it is known in this group that Barrie went to Tuscon in August 2012 with invitation from Jull (I persuaded Jull) to take photos from all the blind samples, the rest of the large sample and the small sample. When he arrived in Tuscon, Jull told Barrie that the small piece is not available as it is in custody of Mr. Donahue, the retired head of the laboratory in 1988. But Donahue was not available due to his personal situation. It was promised to Barrie, that he will have access to the piece later.

This is really a pity because the small piece was the only real interesting one, as its shape is irregular and does not match all of Riggi’s sketches, therefore it seems as if Riggi, who is supposed to have it cut of, has never seen it. The weave direction of the piece indicates a rotatation of about 90° compared to Riggi’s sketch. The only – not very brilliant – photo existing of the small sample indicates that it might have an edge on one side, which can not be possible because according to Riggi this sample was a middle-piece, cut all around.

Since more than one year Barrie and I are trying to persuade Jull and to claim his promise … with no positive result.

Barrie has made public all the taken photos on his website. He did a very good job – unfortunately he is not yet able to complete it.

The insight I got from Barrie’s photos is that all the blind samples are 1:1 weaves and differ siginficantly from the so called shroud sampe(s). Therefore everybody can see instantly, which samples are "shroud"-samples and which are blind sampes. This makes the secret wrapping of the samples in the neighboring room in Turin obsolete. There is therefore no justification why the wrapping of the samples was not made in front of anybodies eyes. Does anybody know what the official argument was for the secret wrapping?


P.S. Barrie please correct me if I got anything wrong concerning your trip to Tuscon

And Barrie has followed through with this:

The events at Tucson as outlined by Helmut in his e-mail are completely accurate. If you missed it, you can find the article, including a detailed description of the event and a selection of the photographs, at this link:

Colin Berry’s Credentials

imageOn his Shroud of Turin blog, Colin Berry wants us to see a list of his published works as identified by Google Scholar. But first, he wants us to know why:

There has been some questioning of my research credentials, especially vis-à-vis the celebrities of Shroud research (Raymond Rogers, John Heller, Alan Adler etc) , on Dan Porter’s site. Nope, I’m not rising to the bait (and that sadly is a site where baiting is allowed on an industrial scale, unless it’s me issuing a mild reprimand, in which case a slap-down arrives in short-order).

Click here to read My research credentials (in three different areas over a 20 year time period)

Very impressive, Colin. Thank you!

Video: Barrie Schwortz at the Pikes Peak Prophesy Summit

This YouTube video of Barrie just showed up on a blog, Putting focus on science: Scientific photography and visual representation of science at its best. It runs 55 minutes. It is good lecture, worth watching. Click on the image to link to the video.