Home > Image Theory > Revisiting: The Turin Shroud Image is not a Scorch

Revisiting: The Turin Shroud Image is not a Scorch

June 19, 2014

Thibault Heimburger recently commented:

I do not think that the image formation process is a stochastic process. . . . In addition, I completely disagree with Colin. I repeat: the distribution of the image color is not consistent with any kind of scorch, even if one takes into account ageing etc.. This has been shown in :

imageLeading Colin Berry to reply:

Nothing is “shown” unless opened up to debate. Pdfs do not open up to debate. Criticizing others via pdfs is a means of evading both online counter-criticism or more formal peer review.

Personally speaking, I can scarcely be bothered to read pdfs any more – they occupy a nether world between public and private domain, and at best qualify as vanity publications in my mind.

Huh?  PDFs “. . . at best qualify as vanity publications”?  Really?  Almost every article I read in Nature, International Weekly Journal of Science is a PDF document. Is that a vanity publication in anyone’s mind? As one might expect, Nature pondered the question of using PDF files for its articles. They report, “So far, scientists have shown a strong preference for the portable document format (PDF) version of individual articles. . . .” And so they and nearly every ethical journal use PDF.

On this blog, I will use the PDF format when it makes sense to do so. A 23 page article makes sense.  It would not make sense to clog a blog page with that much content. It slow down page loading. It hampers debate; comments are a mile away down the page.

On April 17, I announced Thibault’s paper, The Scorch Hypothesis: New Experiments, April 2014. There were thirty comments and it is significant to note that about half of them were not from Max and none of them were from Colin.

Perhaps we need to revisit this topic. So HERE IS THE PDF. And right below this sentence is space for debate. Over to you Colin.

  1. June 19, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Science debate newbie here, but why are pdf’s so imposing? Is it simply a copy and paste challenge?

    • June 19, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Please see my latest posting, David, (which preceded this posting by an hour or two) re my intense irritation with the use of the pdf format.


      It’s to do with there being no facility for attaching one’s comments and/or criticism to the document in question, and the ability of the pdf’s author, if minded to do so, to evade scrutiny, either from peer review or from the internet-based community. Dan’s observation re Nature journal and its downloadable pdf format is scarcely relevant, given that submissions to Nature are generally refereed before appearing in print (and the journal has a Letters page too).

      I have suggested to Dan that each time he adds a pdf paper to his sidebar he adds a link to a separate posting that functions as a kind of ‘letters page’, one that would gradually accumulate, over the weeks and months, folks’ first and subsequent thoughts, and hopefully responses from the paper’s author(s) too.

      • Dan
        June 19, 2014 at 10:20 am

        While I don’t share your irritation, Colin, I do like your suggestion. I’m going to think about it. Thanks.

  2. June 19, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I think Colin’s suggestion for a corresponding posting for comments is a good one. I have no problem with pdf’s because they are critical in protecting the integrity of written work in digital media. I say this as a writer (non science). But in this context it is only fair to ensure proper discussion can occur re: the contents of the ‘impenetrable’ pdf.

  3. daveb of wellington nz
    June 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    PDFs are not so impenetrable. Unless they are in ‘secured’ format, they can be downloaded and saved, and then comments added, by way of the ‘text highlight’ and ‘sticky note’ tools. I have used this facility in exchanges of documents with others seeking comment on their work.

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