imageOver on his science buzz blog, Colin Berry reacts to the statement, “There is no possibility whatsoever that the image on the Shroud is a scorch" that appeared in Larry Schauf’s article in Catholic Answers.

First there is a snide unwarranted ad hom from Colin:

Yes, how many times have we seen those words . . .  quoted by shroud-authenticity promoters, the latest being from a gent with a leading role in the post-STURP, cat-that-got-the-cream $TERA. That’s the "$hroud of Turin Education and Research Association" ho ho ho in case you didn’t know. Sounds of cash registers ringing…

According to Charity Navigator, the Shroud of Turin Education & Research Association Incorporated, EIN 263322158 is a 501(c)(3) organization. The latest IRS 909 filing on record, December of 2012, reports total assets of $13,457 and total revenues of $71,754, all from “contributions, gifts, grants and similar amounts received.” The only compensation to any of the eight “Officers, Directors, Trustees, and Key Employees” was $46,000 to Barrie Schwortz for Expert Contract Services as reported on a 1099-MISC. Hardly worth the dollar sign insult that Colin dishes out every now and then. STERA seems to be a most admirable organization when you consider the website it maintains ( and the valuable education role it plays through lectures and other presentations. This is all public information and Colin could have checked it out before acting in such an arrogant, insulting manner. We all get our money’s worth from STERA, even Colin who quotes from its archives frequently.

imageColin continues on the words about the image being a scorch:

I’ve lost count of the number of big cheeses in the Shroudie Land who have solemnly incanted those words. Yet the vast majority have never bothered to produce a single contact scorch. I have – hundreds of them. While I sadly lack the technology to prove it, I invite others to disprove my contention that a contact scorch on linen can be as superficial as one likes, right down to the molecular scale at surface (primary cell wall) level. I see no theoretical or practical objections whatsoever.

And “While I sadly lack the technology to prove it, I invite others to disprove my contention” that a teapot is in orbit around the earth. “I see no theoretical or practical objections whatsoever.”

I, too, can be a practitioner of pseudoscience.

Then Colin unloads:

Oh, and let’s not forget the occasion when the $TERA top man no less deployed the nuclear option : … there is no possibility whatsoever that the image on the Shroud is a scorch because …   drum roll ..  it fails to show obligatory fluorescence under ultraviolet light. Yeah, right…Thanks for the chemistry lesson. Sadly I missed out on the photography module at University, having to do tedious and irrelevant stuff like 2 years of subsidiary organic chemistry. Uv fluorescence is a property of certain specific molecules. Those molecules are not necessarily permanent fixtures. They can oxidise, polymerise, volatilize etc. Lack of fluoresence, centuries after formation, proves nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING., except maybe to photographers-turned-organic chemists and/or other $hroudie-circus showmen.

The jury may be out on the question of whether or not all scorches in linen fluorescence under ultraviolet light. What is not in question is Colin’s strutting arrogance.