Comment Promoted: Another hypothesis about the image formation

imageTristan Casabianca writes in a comment:

Another hypothesis about the image formation process has just been published in a peer-reviewed journal : Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology : Tattoli, Tsokos, Buschmann, “Could the Shroud of Turin be an effect of post-mortem changes?”

You can have a free access to the first two pages.
(parental discretion advised)

imageYou will probably need to click on the “Look Inside” button from within the publications website to see the first two pages.

15 thoughts on “Comment Promoted: Another hypothesis about the image formation”

  1. I would love to read this article. Look like they present a natural hypothesis involving a dead body as being the source of the image. After all the “lunatic fringe” kind of proposals that have been made in recent years (burst of UV light, electric discharge coming from an earthquake, etc.) it’s great to see some rationality for once! One thing’s for sure: it’s about time that a real forensic expert try to verify all those naturalistic hypotheses under good lab control. This can be done. Rogers made some preliminary experiments, so it is possible that someone else take over and do more testing (and not just of Rogers’ hypothesis but all the others natural proposals that have been made over the years). I think we could be surprise of the results if this would be done properly.

  2. “there is no convincing evidence that gross putrefactive changes can produce the fine details that are seen in the ST”
    they don’t investigate any further.

  3. In the first two pages available in the ‘Springer’ link, there are few clues as to the hypothesis that the authors are postulating, except that the TS image may be some kind of post mortem effect. There are very few other instances of image formation, the ‘Veil of Antinoe’ now lost, the ‘Jospice mattress cover’ which is contentious, and now this 71 year old man who had been dead some weeks, and in a state of progressive putrefaction.

    The TS man shows no such signs of corruption, and it is a long stretch to see how this latest event can be relevant to the TS case. This latest image seems to been caused by leakage of putrescent body fluids, and it is hard to see how the two cases can be connected, as the cause of imaging would seem to be quite different in the two cases. Clearly the TS image has not been caused by any noticable corruption effect.

    I am firmly of the opinion that until sufficient experimentation has been carried out with recently dead bodies and which can successfully demonstrate imaging with similar properties as the TS image, then it will continue to remain an unresolved enigma. I suspect that the latest case of this unfortunate 71 year old man leaving a pattern of his bodily fluids on a carpet may add little to our understanding of TS image formation. Any hypothesis postulated by the author from this event would seem to be no more than speculation at this stage. But I could be proved wrong.

    1. I agree, there are no signs of Purification on the shroud. This is a very different situation but I think it might be interesting, I wish I could read more on this case.

  4. And the answer is…. no, it couldn’t. This is not a peer reviewed paper. It is a two-page article and there is no need to buy it. There is a third page, but it contains nothing but an image of the Shroud and some references; otherwise, all there is can be read for free using the link above. This is not a new hypothesis; in fact it’s not a hypothesis at all, just a few vague questions.

    1. Hugh, i think that the main interest of this short peer reviewed communication is to show us, once again, how unlikely the “natural” hypothesis is. You need a set of circumstances that is fantastically low.
      And a side interest of the paper : new forensic experts who say there was a corpse (not a giant bas relief made by an unknown genius…) in the shroud.

    2. We can’t say whether the natural hypothesis is unlikely or not. The experiments have never been done. The closest anyone ever came to using a dead body to create an image was Giovanna De Liso’s use of a snake during her seismic experiments of 12 years duration. Otherwise it’s all just speculation. Funding and multi-variate experimentation are needed, else it’s all just hot air!

      1. Oh I do think the natural hypothesis is totally unconvincing/unlikely: its plausibility (does our knowledge in other fields support or reinforce the hypothesis?) is clearly insufficient : the image on the shroud is unique.

        the natural hypothesis relies on unverified and complicated data (with the corona hypothesis, you need an earthquake at the right time and place).

        If the man on the shroud is Jesus, the Natural hypothesis cannot explain historical facts widely accepted by New Testament scholars: the empty tomb, the early paulinian creed (1 Co 15, 3-7) which appeared in the first decade after the crucifixion.

    3. Tristan you are entitled to your opinion, but you may not assert it as fact. Matthew’s gospel asserts that an earthquake moved the rock, I have personal experience of earthquakes bursting rocks from cliff faces. Matthew introduces an angel to signal divine intervention. The Resurrection is a matter of personal Faith affirmed by many, but can never be certain knowledge. Only Mary Magdalen was able to say that ‘I know my Redeemer liveth’ with certain knowledge because she had seen him. The rest of us can only accept it as a matter of faith.

      The Shroud of Turin is a material object in the present here and now, with an enigmatic image on it. One good reason why we cannot explain the image, is not because that it is necessarily miraculous, but because there really has not been sufficient research carried out on this particular phenomenon. It is rational to explore naturalistic explanations before resorting to claims of miracles. This has yet to be done, despite the various attempts already made. One good reason why there has not been the research neccesary, is that the object is a rare and carefully guarded relic which is rightly taken to be precious, and very likely sacred, and so access to it is made difficult. We may believe the image to be miraculous, but this cannot yet be claimed as a fact. It is possible that it is miraculous, at least providential, possibly naturalistic, and even a man-made artifact, though I personally consider the last unlikely.

      1. Daveb,
        I have never said that the Resurrection hypothesis was “a fact”, only the most likely… it’s quite different
        If you have not read it, I cansend you my article published last year (The Shroud of Turin: A historiographical approach”).

  5. Quote: “If the man on the shroud is Jesus, the Natural hypothesis cannot explain historical facts widely accepted by New Testament scholars: the empty tomb, the early paulinian creed (1 Co 15, 3-7) which appeared in the first decade after the crucifixion.”

    Reply: The natural hypothesis, unlike what you and many Christians seem to think, do not discard the historical reality of Jesus Resurrection in any way. I don’t even understand how can people make such a bad link. Don’t you believe in the Incarnation? Before his body disappeared from the tomb (and the Shroud), Jesus body was a dead meat like any other crucified body and, because of this, any natural hypothesis that take into account all the data we know about the Shroud (I’m not talking about the one we found in the paper above, because the authors do not seem to have taken into account the FACT that there is absolutely no sign of putrefaction on the Shroud) deserve to be tested properly under good lab control and should not be discarded on the basis that the Shroud image is unique and so, it must have been formed directly by the Resurrection.

    In a near future, a new paper of mine will be published on or, if STERA don’t want it, on and probably other places. In it, I express my thoughts about the most profound meaning of the Shroud from a believer standpoint and, to me, the image on the cloth do not talk primarily about the Resurrection. We should always remember that this image shows a dead Christ…

  6. Daveb…….The Shroud of Turin is the most intensely studied object in human history. Laboratories such as: NASA, Los Alamos, Jet Propulsion (Pasadena, CA), Air Force Weapons (Colorado), Brooks Institute, etc…have brought their equipment and academic expertise to examine it. To say “One good reason why we cannot explain the image is…..because there really has not been sufficient research carried out on this particular phenomenon” is such an incredulous comment, it either reflects someone who is surprisingly uninformed as it relates to the STURP testing of 1978 (as well as all of the subsequent research done in the years since), or it reflects someone who may harbor an opinion not supported by the facts. True, the object is rare and carefully guarded. However, STURP scientists were given access to it for 120 consecutive hours of non-destructive testing. I hope any future comments you may have will reflect what has long been established in Sindology.

    1. Daveb is perfectly right, the more you study the shroud, the better you realise how much remains to be done.

    2. If David Onysko has been following this blog site any time at all over the last few years he might have noted that I am informed as well as anyone on what was and what was not achieved by STURP. I also happen to be aware of how the team came together, how it was funded, who the participants were, what equipment they used, and the particular difficulties they encountered. I regret that I have never had the opportunity to meet any of them personally.

      I am also apprised of what other studies have been carried out, from the time of Paul Vignon, Pierre Barbet, various other pioneers, the secret Turin Commission of Cardinal Pellegrino 1969-73, and have been an avid follower of many subsequent developments, researches and studies since. I have a computer file of about 1GB on various research papers and other material, although perhaps a modest size compared to those of a few others.

      It has been said that the Shroud of Turin is the most intensely studied object in human history. Others have said it is also the most badly studied object in human history.

      The STURP team went in blind, not knowing what they would find, and some have said with too limited an agenda. But that was in 1978, some 36 years ago. The Science has moved on, and there are now techniques available which STURP could then only dream about.

      Nevertheless there remain other approaches, other experiments which do not require direct access to the relic itself. There has been too little experimentation and few attempts to discover how a dead body might leave an image on a particular type of linen cloth. Ray Rogers succeeded in colouring Edgerton bleached linen treated with dextrin and saponaria, by a 10 minute exposure to ammonia. Giovanna De Liso obtained some success during her 12 years of experiments in a seismic environment.

      These experiments have had insufficient follow-up and further development. Instead, researchers are fiddling with excimer lasers, and scorching kitchen tea towels.

      A concerted programme of research is required, but it needs a source of funds, dedicated and multi-disciplined research scientists, and carefully designed experiments. God-given human rationality demands that naturalistic explanations be reasonably well-exhausted before resorting to premature claims of the supernatural and miraculous. Despite what has been achieved in the 116 years since Secondo Pia’s first photographs, we remain still in the early stages of this exploration.

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