Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have used the word ‘Significant’

I didn’t mean to upset some of you so much

imageBut the word ‘insignificant’ doesn’t work either. Colin thinks he is right on this. I don’t think he is; let me be clear about that. But I do think he is right to raise the question of why STURP didn’t investigate (or didn’t investigate more) the negativity of the image. He legitimately thinks they should have. The real questions when we get past the emotion caused by a bad word choice on my part are these:

  1. Is the fact that the image is a negative a clue into how the image was formed?
  2. Should this fact have been considered by STURP?
    Colin has chimed in some more over on his blog (CLICK HERE and scroll down to the picture of an old battle tank parked in front of the post office in Friar’s Point, Mississippi).

Right or wrong, this is nonetheless legitimate thinking. So if you can get past the emotions I caused . . .

In fact the blind spot is not just confined to STURP. It continues to this day. Think of how many times one reads of this or that theory of image formation (Maillard reaction, flashes of radiation, uv excimer laser beams, radioactive xenon, earthquakes, corona discharges). When did you ever hear “sweat imprint” being mentioned, despite imaging-by-sweat being a fixation/obsession with medieval and later pilgrims (see the St. Francis de Sales letter to his mother written as late as 1648). Even the common French description of the Shroud as the "Suaire" ("face cloth")  instead of a "linceul", an oddity picked up by French Canadian Mario Latendresse, provider of the stupendous Shroud Scope,  on his site under the intriguing’ Machy mould’ gives a strong clue as the way the Shroud was initially perceived as a bodily imprint left by bodily secretions.

Your Comments Count: Intellectual Clarity and Open Discussions


July was the second best month ever for this blog.  We had 57,910 unique visitors (essentially different people) to the site during the month racking up 116,066 page views. I have, over the life of the blog, made more than 3000 postings and there have been a few guest postings. You have made 30,309 comments. (Many times that number of comments have been discarded as attempted spam. I spend time every day trashing attempts to sneak in.)

808 people have opted in to be notified by email when something is posted or commented upon.  Who-knows how many more are notified through RSS feeds, blog watcher apps, twitter, facebook, etc.

Here are the postings with the most comments ever:

But those are just indications. The true measure is intellectual clarity and truly open discussions.

Volunteers for 2015

imageSo far, it seems, 1300 people have signed up to serve as volunteers for the 2015 exposition. In this picture of just some of them, you can see the bright purple jackets they will be wearing.

If the story is being translated correctly, organizers are looking for about three times as many.

A Significant Criticism of STURP

imageColin Berry wrote it in all-caps and red letters. For good measure, he added four exclamation marks:


Colin, in his latest posting this morning, STURP approached the Shroud with a major blind spot for negative imprinted images. Time to send in a new STURP team, properly constituted, wrote:

Even if one had grounds for thinking the TS was a painting, despite the lack of brush marks, the generally indistinct fuzzy image with no clear edge, the absence of pigment (not even hang-up in the interstices of the weave as per “blood”) there would be a major question staring one in the face.

Why does the image show a reversal of normal light/dark tones such that one needs a Secondo Pia type conversion to negative to see it’s a “real person”, indeed the popular image of Jesus.? How can one ignore so obvious a feature of the TS – its negative character, and fail to ask why, if testing for fraud  (or well-intentioned simulation) it was done that way? If one’s going to assemble a largely self-appointed team of detectives, then one should do what detectives do, and try to think like a criminal might, and start by establishing a motive. What possible motive might a medieval forger have for depicting Christ, especially when newly-deceased, in the negative (an unattractive image some might think when placed alongside the 19th/20th century negative)?

[ . . . ]

So what did those STURP members, with few if any image analysts among them, and NO art historians fail to take on board? Answer: the obsession in that era with allegedly genuine images of Christ obtained as IMPRINTS, mainly in sweat, purportedly, with or without a contribution from blood. Straightaway one needs to flag up the obvious – that a contact imprint from a 3D subject, or part thereof , like a face is ALWAYS a negative image. . . .

imageAnd there is this intriguing thought:

Any approach to the Shroud’s NEGATIVE image that takes account of its historical setting, around the time first public display, and indeed first definitive mention in written records, in 1357, must take account of the then celebrated so-called ‘Veil of Veronica’. Before asking what that was, or rather became with much image-embellishment at the hands of artists, let’s first turn to wiki to see the evidence for the Veil’s celebrity at the era in question: [ed. that would be Wikipedia, the entry for Veil of Veronica]

However, firm recording of the Veronica only begins in 1199 when two pilgrims named Gerald de Barri (Giraldus Cambrensis) and Gervase of Tilbury made two accounts at different times of a visit to Rome which made direct reference to the existence of the Veronica. Shortly after that, in 1207, the cloth became more prominent when it was publicly paraded and displayed by Pope Innocent III, who also granted indulgences to anyone praying before it. This parade, between St Peter’s and The Santo Spirito Hospital, became an annual event and on one such occasion in 1300 Pope Boniface VIII, who had it translated to St. Peter’s in 1297, was inspired to proclaim the first Jubilee in 1300. During this Jubilee the Veronica was publicly displayed and became one of the "Mirabilia Urbis" ("wonders of the City") for the pilgrims who visited Rome. For the next two hundred years the Veronica, retained at Old St Peter’s, was regarded as the most precious of all Christian relics; there Pedro Tafur, a Spanish visitor in 1436, noted:

[ . . . ]

Good point, Colin. That is what these blogs are about. Asking questions and raising concerns that are not otherwise being asked in less argumentative sites.

BTW: Colin is angry at me. He thinks I was a bit unfair. He may be right:

I’ve just been given a mild reprimand (yet again) for changing the subject on my blog through use of addendums.


To reiterate: this is my blog, my space, and it’s not for other bloggers to act as style police.

The blogger in question has in fact ignored the main content of this posting, the one in the title (LOTTO v LUWU) and chosen to nitpick on a detail of the brass-rubbing addendum. My crime: to make mention of processing the image by tone inversion then 3D-engancement in Image J. I’ve failed I’m told to demonstrate that the 3D step produced 3D enhancement.

Correct. I never said it did. I simply showed the result after each of the two steps, and invited my readers to form their own judgement. In fact there is a small difference in the ‘post 3D’ image – i.e. shadiing effects that make the image less like a cartoon, clothing especially, faces too if one looks closely, more like a portrait, BUT I DID NOT SAY THAT. I simply left it at saying that the processed images were more ‘life-like’ and used that term immediately after the tone-inversion alone.

That site is becoming increasingly vexatious, especially for its constant attempts to trip me up on matters of pettifogging detail, and its systematic attempts to draw attention away from the main content and conclusions.

I shall be giving that dreary lacklustre site a miss from a while, having several ideas in the pipeline that I want to post here. I shan’t bother to see how they have been subsequently mushed on that site, as indeed they will.

Beyond LUWU and LOTTO

Colin has an interesting piece on his blog. Unfortunately due to his unconventional way of posting, what should have been, by itself, a posting is an unrelated addendum to a different topic. You will need to go to his posting, Might John P.Jackson have been right in thinking the frontal and dorsal images of the Man on the Turin Shroud are subtly different? Different imprinting configurations ("LOTTO" v "LUWU")? and scroll down, way-way down, until you see a picture of a man and his wife.

What does Colin see that is 3D in this?  He asked the question, not me. He doesn’t answer. He shows us a picture but I see nothing. Am I supposed to?



Colin writes:

Purpose of exercise: medieval (and modern folk too) are quite happy to take their brass rubbings, and see them for what they are – negative replicas that have an unusual quality, no longer life-like, but interestingly different. Few if any will feel a need to do what I have just done, using 20th/21st century  technology, simply to get more life-like images of the original subjects.

Could have fooled me. . . but I had my morning coffee. CLICK HERE to see quite a few brass rubbings, both negative and positive.

The Shroud of Turin and the Wikipedia Edit Wars

In the last 60 days, the Wikipedia article on the shroud was viewed some 56,000 times.
Pages in this blog were viewed 161,000 times by at least 48,000 visitors.
Yes, I know that is apples and oranges.

imageReligion News Service (RNS) has an interesting story about Wikipedia editing wars:

The problem confronting many Wikipedia editors is that religion elicits passion — and often, more than a little vitriol as believers and critics spar over facts, sources and context. For “Wikipedians” like Willey, trying to put a lid on the online hate speech that can be endemic to Wikipedia entries is a key part of their job.

Religion is among several of the top 100 altered topics on Wikipedia, according to a recent list published by Five Thirty Eight. Former President George W. Bush is the most contested entry, but Jesus (No. 5) and the Catholic Church (No. 7) fall closely behind.

For instance, a graphic for the RNS story tells us that the Wikipedia article about Jesus has been revised 26, 580 times; about the Catholic Church, 23,884 times; about Christianity, 17,273 times. 

That made me wonder: How many times has the Wikipedia article on the shroud been revised? According to Wikipedia statistics for the page it has been revised 4,235 times since 2002 (click graph to enlarge).


A New Paper by Paul Maloney

a personal opinion that would not, could not be changed

Joe Marino passes along this important new (July 2014) paper by Paul C, Maloney entitled Walter C. McCrone and the Max Frei Sticky Tapes of 1978: A Background Study.

This is a MUST READ paper if you have any interest in the pollen found on the shroud. The concluding paragraph sums up what I think many of us have come to think about Walter McCrone’s thinking:

We may thus draw the conclusion that Dr. McCrone’s statement, sent to Joe Marino on 9 April, 1998 is a conflation of ideas that formed in Dr. McCrone’s mind over the years. My own reading of Dr. McCrone’s responses to Joe Marino’s e-mails convinces me that even if McCrone had had access to my published study, it would not have changed his mind (as evidenced by McCrone’s terse statement to Joe Marino on 19 April, 1998 (Wrapped up in the Shroud, p. 239)—any more than the large photo-mosaic had any effect on McCrone’s thinking on Saturday, July 23, 1988. Some may prefer to believe that this was dishonesty on McCrone’s part. I prefer to think that this conflated statement ceased to represent the science of the Shroud and had become a personal opinion that would not, could not be changed. To have done so would have meant that McCrone could not “save face” for his stance toward the Shroud developed very early on in his messages to STURP.

Picture:  Paul Mahoney at the 2008 Ohio conference

Another Paper by Yannick Clément

imageOn July 20th, I posted a lead to a new essay by Yannick Clément. At the time I mentioned that I would mention another paper soon.  Today, I noticed a link to it on The Holy Shroud Guild Facebook page. That prompted me to get going and mention it here. It is called My thoughts on a recently published paper by Raymond N. Rogers by Yannick Clément dated July 9, 2014.

Yannick begins:

I would like to express some thoughts about the « new » paper of Rogers that was recently published on the website Shroud.com, which is entitled “An Alternate Hypothesis for the Image Color”1 . This article was written by Rogers in 2001 but was never published anywhere before.

By-the-way, here is a link to the paper at shroud.com. An Alternate Hypothesis for the Image Color

After several pages of discussion, Yannick begins his several paragraphs of conclusion:

There is no doubt in my mind that this “new” paper of Rogers constitutes a real historical finding, which can help us to understand all the different steps that were taken by Rogers in his study of the Shroud image. These steps indicate the high level of scientific professionalism with which he did his work in order to discover the best rational hypothesis to explain this image without underestimating or leaving out any important data and observations. In consequence, this paper can also help us to realize the poor scientific value of the work done by some other “scientists” on the Shroud image, especially when we consider the fact that those researchers have not at all followed the same scientific “path” of Rogers. In the end, I think we can really see in this particular paper, which was the first attempt of Rogers at describing his impurity hypothesis for the image chromophore, as being the genesis of the Maillard reaction hypothesis he proposed the year later (in 2002)45 and which he never stopped refining until his death, two years later.

FYI:  Apparently, the two recent papers by Yannick have also be published on The Holy Shroud Guild site:

Penn & Teller’s Hateful Bullshit

The mocking of Fred Zugibe is particularly nasty.

imageSometimes I don’t get the way Facebook works – or is it that I never do. Just this morning I took a quick look at the page for The Holy Shroud Guild. The topmost recent post was dated May 5th. That was followed by one from just a few hours ago (I’ll get to that in a subsequent post), then one from later in May and then things seemed to settle down with normal posting sequences going from recent July down the page to the oldest entries.

It’s a good thing it happened because I had missed the May 5th posting by Danusha Goska. It was important. It was a link to something she wrote, Christophobia on Campus, Penn Jillette and Joseph Goebbels, and Shroud of Turin Talk Update, in her Save, Send Delete blog. She wrote (and you should read the whole posting):

Jillette and Teller’s performance was hateful. It was comparable to the kind of material that Joseph Goebbels used to produce. Goebbels also took distinctively religious icons – in his case Jewish ones – and associated them with derision in order to facilitate violence and hate.

I’ve often heard New Atheists complain that they have a bad reputation. They wonder why.

It was a good thing, too,  to read what Danusha wrote because four days ago a reader had written to me about the video. It was making the rounds on New Atheist blogs and such. He sent a link to a mid-July entry in The Thinking Atheist. Had I seen it? No! It was two and a half years old. So what, the reader said, it is out there and getting attention; you should show it. No, I won’t, I thought. Why advertise it?

Having read, Danusha’s posting, yes, I will. The readers of this blog are intelligent. I’m not promoting it since it is written by bigots for idiots and there are no idiots here. Maybe the comparison to Goebbels is a bit strong. Even so, Danusha makes an important point. The mocking of Fred Zugibe is particularly nasty.

John Klotz Issues a Challenge: Show Me an Image

A reposting from Quantum Christ Image by John Klotz
(with permission)

A Challenge to the Skeptical Community: Show Me an Image

imageI have a challenge to those skeptical of the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, Show me an image comparable to the Shroud of Turin at least five centuries old. It doesn’t have to be of Christ or have any relationship to religion. It can be of anything.

I am in the process of completing a manuscript with a current working title of: “The Coming of the Quantum Christ: The Shroud of Turin and the Apocalypse of Selfishness.”

It includes in the large part, the scientific study of the Shroud of Turin. Some weeks ago I challenged a skeptic on Dan Porter’s   Shroud Story blog to show me an image of sufficient relative antiquity that has similar characteristics as the image on the Shroud of Turin. I do not recall ever receiving a response. So now I the challenge to the larger skeptical community:

Show me such an image of that was in existence no later than 1500 CE [AD]. I choose that year as the cut-off because I believe no one can seriously dispute the existence of the Shroud by that year.

Not a painting. Painted images do not qualify because I submit that from one thing established by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) in 1978 and by additional research since that time, is that the Shroud is NOT a painting. Sorry Walter McCrone fans. In one of my chapters I cite Harry Gove’s initial impressions of McCrone when he first met him. They are not complimentary.

So here’s the challenge: direct me to an image currently in existence that was created prior to 1500 CE that has features comparable to the Shroud. That would include at a minimum:

  1. A depth of the image no greater than the outer shell of a fibril of linen. The image of the shroud is such, or even more probably, a darkening of by-products left on  the linen from the  retting of it by methods dating back to BEFORE 1000 CE but I won’t quibble about a measly 500 years;
  2. Sufficient definition (resolution) of the image to allow determination of important features of a human body to the extent those are determinable from the Shroud image;
  3. Difference of various parts of the image intensity to allow interpretation as a three dimensional object.

I am serious about this. My final chapter is 18; The Challenge of the Shroud and if anybody has a relevant image, I will comment there or maybe in a relevant earlier  chapter with proper attribution.

You may respond to this posting to QuantumChristImage.blogspot.com. Warning, I am looking for a specific item: an image that has the characteristics of the Shroud image that predates 1500 CE. It does not have to be of Christ. If you  wish to direct me to such image please respond. However, I  will delete argumentation about my criteria which fails to cite an image which matches the criteria.

Pseudoscience Again

He writes: “From an artistic and anatomical perspective, the shroud image
follows the standard conventions of its time.”

Oh, really?

imageStrange: when the article, Pseudoscience: Great for Business… But Not Much Else!, by Sten Odenwald (pictured), appeared in the Huffington Post Science blog, the top picture was of the Shroud of Turin face with a photo credit to Joseph Eid via Getty Images. That was at 12:06 yesterday. Later, I noticed that the picture has been removed and the blog entry had been updated.

Anyway, that isn’t important. Odenwald opens with a simple paragraph with a list of issues he doesn’t really address:

A quick study of cable TV uncovers numerous programs purporting to use scientific techniques to uncover bizarre twists in history. Although card-carrying archeologists have long-since passed judgment on these ideas and moved on to far more interesting issues, pseudoarcheologists keep these ideas alive because (1) they sell books and bring in sightseers, (2) people are fascinated by the way they represent underdog ideas that "threaten" the establishment, (3) most people have no clue what scientific research is really all about, and (4) people view all scientists as equivalent experts on a given topic.

He then goes on to discuss the Kensington Rune Stone, supposedly carved in America by the Knights Templar; the Newberry Tablet; America’s so-called Stonehenge; the Grave Creek Stone; the Sinaia lead plates (that is Sinaia, Romania not to be confused with the Sinai) and, of course, the Shroud of Turin. He writes:

In 1988 a radiocarbon-dating test was performed on small samples of the shroud. The samples dated from the Middle Ages, between 1260 and 1390. From an artistic and anatomical perspective, the shroud image follows the standard conventions of its time. The artistic errors are so severe that it is impossible for it to be the image of an actual human body. Writes Gregory S. Paul, "Exceptionally tall for his time and place [over 6 feet], his rather narrow head was so shrunken and low browed that it would have indicated a unique form of hypocephaly so serious it would have impaired his mental function."

The apples and oranges comparison is amateurish. The Gregory S. Paul article, to which he refers, appeared on The Secular Web in 2010 and is significantly based on naïve and mistaken proportion peculiarities and contains this pseudoscientific gem:

Since the cloth is a proven fraud all attempts to show otherwise are at best misguided and gullible, and perhaps fraudulent.

The Shroud of Turin and Near Death Experiences

clip_image001He calls his posting “The Near Death Experience: A believer’s evidence, a skeptic’s challenge.” The blogger of He Rose for Grace, uses the Shroud of Turin as an example to explain how accumulations of evidence give credence to near death experiences or NDEs.

Jeffrey Long, M.D. [pictured] has spent a life time studying near death experiences (NDE). Evidence is a curious thing. Standing alone, any evidence can only vaguely point a finger toward a specific direction of truth. Oftentimes, as in the belief in Christ or God, Himself; by taking only one piece of evidence, you can’t eliminate enough variables to keep a convincing argument.  To say, for example, that the pollens on the Shroud of Turin are a dead ringer for the species that grew in Jerusalem at the time of Christ, therefore the cloth is authentic, doesn’t give enough evidence.  However, when you consider that the scorch is of an unknown origin, and can only be caused by vacuum ultraviolet radiation  with a wavelength of 200-100 nanometers from laser pulses lasting less than 50 nanoseconds, it helps.  . .  . As we study, painstakingly sweat in the labs, carry on discussions, and bleed our brains over midnight oil for variables to give us another alternative, at one point, we finally realize that the variables have been nearly explained away, given enough lines of evidence.  It is  the gift of reason.

The blogger continues:

Jeffrey Long is a radiation oncologist.  For more than ten years he has studied the incidences of NDE. He is the author of Evidence of the Afterlife; the Science of Near Death Experiences. His web site is the largest known account of NDEs. Jeffrey says that the Gallup Poll numbers those who have had NDEs then lived to tell about it  are 5% of the population.  Blissful state, Heavenly realms, and those recovering wake up unafraid of death.  His claim is that consciousness is outside of the body. These people come into infinite love and a feeling of being in touch with divinity.  Some feel a universal knowledge. The changes they emotionally go through impacts them for the rest of their lives.  They come back to life convinced there is life after death.  Relationships become important, materialism slides into the background and its importance often dissipates.  Sometimes they change professions and begin to work in areas that are geared more toward nurturing and love for fellow man.

According to Dr. Long, the nine lines of evidence that surpass any medical reasons follow.

You can read the entire posting if you wish. It is well written.

imageALSO:  Skeptiko has published DR. JEFFREY LONG TAKES ON CRITICS OF, EVIDENCE OF THE AFTERLIFE, following reviews of his book,  Evidence of the Afterlife. In the Skeptiko article, I found:

Dr. Long also discusses the nature of NDE skepticism, “The other issue I’ve seen with skeptics is they often have their pet theory. Their theory of how the world works, how things work, and it’s very, very difficult to dislodge them from their pet theory, even with overwhelming evidence.”

In the end Dr. Jeffery Long believes in his evidence, “I have confidence in the substantial majority of people. When they hear evidence, and it’s presented in a straightforward way, they’re smart enough to understand what’s real evidence and what’s evasiveness.”

Pet theory! That sounds like the world of shroud skeptics, as well. . . well. some of them anyway. 

Crowdfunding to be Used for 2015 Exposition

imageThe Google translation leaves something to be desired. Even so, you can get the idea. Marco Bonatti, the Director of Communications Shroud Exposition 2015 tells us:

A network of small and large partners to support all projects of the exposition; and multiple modes of financing, including the involvement of citizens through the "crowdfounding."

and there is this:

Projects – Regarding the crowdfounding will be activated in the coming months platforms needed to start collections around specific projects that will be identified or who can report to the Committee. The proposed contribution will all be received and considered by the Organising Committee, which will use a ‘grid’ of ethical criteria that help to assess the compatibility of the proposals with the objectives and style of the exposition.

Companies and individuals who are interested in collaborating in the preparation of the exposition can take right now a first contact by sending an e-mail message to this address: comitato@sindone.org .

Crowdfunding has been discussed in relationship to the shroud and even tried in one instance by David Rolfe. See Crowdfund my meth lab, yo and The Shroud Affair Crowd Funding Campaign: A Guest Posting by David Rolfe.

Maybe it will work well.

Origin of the Gammadia

Click on the image for a larger version

imageRuss Breault writes:

I have run across something interesting and am trying to determine if it has significance.  From the 3rd to the 9th centuries it was apparently common in Byzantine iconography for the outer garments, especially representing people with high authority, to be marked with a stylized "L" called a "Gammadia".  No one seems to know what the origin is but is it possible it is derived from the L-shaped pattern of burns on the Shroud?  These holes when seen on the Lierre copy are very pronounced and for centuries, until the 1532 fire would have been the most obvious marking on the cloth. Was it picked up and turned into a symbol for ancient iconographers?  Would some of your participants like to investigate this further?  Here is an example from Ravenna:


Book Review of Hoax

imageJoe Marino sent along an interesting review on Strategy Page by Albert A. Nofi of the book, Hoax: Hitler’s Diaries, Lincoln’s Assassins, and Other Famous Frauds by Edward J. Steers with a forward by Joe Nickell.

We previously discussed this book in May last year, Summer Reading: Tell Me What You Want to Believe and I Will Tell What You Will Believe, and so it was good to see this review. Here is what Nofi wrote:

This methodology applies equally to the several Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories Steers address.  For the Hitler diaries hoax, Steers not only points out flaws in the methodology used to authenticate the bogus documents, but also manages to trace the fate of Hitler’s actual papers.  A similar approache is used for the “Anthon Transcript” hoax.  While Steers marshals considerable scientific evidence that the Shroud of Turin is not what it purports to be (a conclusion reached by some churchmen nearly seven centuries ago), it still remains a curious mystery.  Of the cases, only Piltdown Man is without some degree of lingering controversy, having the least political or popular importance.

Joe also noticed an Amazon review by Michael P. Maslanka on Amazon:

That’s the formula for pulling off a hoax as we see time and again in this short and insightful book. We see these elements come together in the Hitler diary hoax. Time and again, when belief was about to be suspended, these elements re-ignited it. Best chapter in on the Shroud of Turin. The author is respectful of thos who believe it is the burial shroud of Christ, but is still devasting in his arguments that it is not:(a) why did the shroud pop up all of a sudden in the 1300’s?;(2) surely it should have been mentioned in the Bible but is not;(3) the type of weave pattern did not exist at the time of Christ’s death(the burial shrouds of the very rich had a simple weave pattern, not the more complex one on the shroud);(4)the Bible says that Christ was buried according to Jewish tradition which requires a washing away of all blood and the placement of a small cloth over the face of the deceased but the shroud shows Christ’s face and the blood. A well made(nice feel to holding it) and a well written book. Want insights into human nature? Give it a read.

Did Nickell write that piece about the shroud? Tired, old arguments. It will never cease.

Another Segment of Stephen Jones’ Conspiracy Theory

imageIt is part 8. If you are interested CLICK HERE.

Stephen, in bold, banners text that reads:


He then presents no evidence that I can see; none whatsoever. By-the-way, what Linick program? So far, Stephen has only hinted at this.

Well anyway, you can learn something about Karl Koch. And you can wonder why Stephen makes a splashing point that Koch is not essential to his theory.  He’s got that right.

Creative Ideas That Work

imageShanun Palus in Smithsonian magazine has an interesting article, Astronomers Are Doing Real Science With Space Photos They Found on Flickr. I’m not saying it is applicable. I’m sure it is not. But it demonstrates the idea that there may be new ways to study images that we have not thought of:

To get detailed images of deep space, astronomers have a couple of options, says Technology Review. They can either use a long exposure to capture one really detailed image, or stack multiple less-detailed images together. Lang and colleagues opted for the second approach. But rather than using multiple photos taken with the same telescope, they looked to the web.

The team used a new alogorithm to stack nearly 300* images of the Galaxy NGC 5907 that they found on Flickr, Bing, and Google. They did this by "[l]iterally searching for ‘NGC 5907’ and ‘NGC5907’," explains Astrobites.

Picture from Smithsonian:  An amateur photograph of galaxy NGC 5907 by Flickr user korborh. On its own it doesn’t look like much, but combined with hundreds more it can reveal new secrets about the universe. (korborh)

RIP radiation twaddle?

imageColin Berry writes in a comment:

PS: here’s a link to that graphic. Look inside the yellow rectangle. Spot the non-imaged zone in the angle where the two hands overlap.

[ CLICK HERE for large image ] . . .

Reminder: it’s NOT a photograph. It’s better described as a contact print, or what I’ve previously called an ‘impactograph’.

RIP radiation twaddle.

Surely, not everyone enthusiastically agrees.  So CLICK HERE to join the discussion rather than commenting on this pointer-only posting.

BTW: I doubt that radiation played a role in image formation but I don’t think this is as damning as Colin does. In fact, it might be supportive of radiation. 

It’s the Cloth, Not the Image

"He who the third day rose from the dead was no less true
God in the manger than on the cross."  — Karl Barth

imageThe short quote from inside a longer quote reads:

In sum, we can say that it’s not the body image on the Shroud but the cloth itself that is the real material sign of Jesus’ Resurrection!

The longer, embracing quotation is from a new paper, An image that speaks of the Incarnation well before it speaks about the Resurrection by Yannick Clément (It makes me wonder if Yannick gets his progressive thinking from Barth):

Because every characteristic related to the Shroud image can find some similarity in nature and, even more, because some of those characteristics (like the discontinuous distribution and the very superficial aspect of the image) really seem to strongly suggest that the image on the cloth has been formed by a natural interaction between the crucified dead body and the surface of his burial cloth, seeing this image as some kind of material proof of his Resurrection is presently only possible through faith and consequently, such a concept cannot be based on a real scientific and rational reflection. But having said that, it’s important to note that it is truly possible, through rationality, to see the Shroud (not only the body image on the cloth, but the burial cloth itself, along with the body imprint and the bloodstains present on it) as a material sign (not a proof!) of the Resurrection of Christ, in the sense that it has been proven that the cloth contained, only for a short period of time (i.e. less than 72 hours), the real crucified body of a man who presents all the bloody stigmata of Christ, as described in the Gospels, while the extraction of his body from the Shroud did not seem to have disturbed the bloodstains, broken the linen fibrils under them or disturbed the body image in any way, which can be seen as possible signs (not proofs) of a “dematerialization” (or a “spiritualization” if you prefer) of his body at the moment of the resurrection. Also, and this is probably even more important, the simple fact that such a gruesome burial cloth of a crucified criminal (which shows the complete body image of a nude “Christ”, along with lots of bloodstains) has been taken out of the tomb, quietly kept and carefully preserved for centuries after his dead body has only spent a short period of time in it, can truly be seen as the greatest material sign of the Resurrection of Christ that exists. In sum, we can say that it’s not the body image on the Shroud but the cloth itself that is the real material sign of Jesus’ Resurrection! Effectively, if this cloth would have been the burial shroud of an anonymous crucified man, why in the world would such a grave cloth have been taken out of the tomb and well preserved until now?

Nevertheless, it’s important to emphasize the fact that this sign remains an indirect sign of this event, instead of being a direct proof of it, like it is researched by many people today who really want to see a clear physical proof of Resurrection in the body image of a dead Jesus that is present on the cloth.

(emphasis mine, this is from a note in the paper, note references are removed in the blog and should be noticed and read in the paper)

This is one of two new papers from Yannick published at the iSEAM site. The other will be discussed shortly. Hat tip to Pete Andy.

Another 2015 Pilgrimage to Turin, Florence and Rome

imageThis tour is being led by Msgr. Gregory A. Gier of The Cathedral of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Click here or on the image for an online brochure. 

This tour seems to be specifically for parishioners of the cathedral:

. . . parishioners are invited to join Msgr. Gier on an unforgettable pilgrimage to Turin to see the Shroud, then on to Florence, Assisi, Siena, and finally Rome.  Msgr. Gier will offer Holy Mass daily at many of the important churches we will visit, including St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  The dates are April 19 – 28, 2015. 

Russ Breault, Barrie Schwortz, John and Rebecca Jackson at Prophecy Conference

imageRuss Breault writes on his Shroud Encounter Facebook page:

Anyone near Colorado Springs? I will be speaking 4 times at the upcoming Pikes Peak Prophecy Conference:

  • Friday 7/25 at 3:30–"Unholy Obsession–When Hitler Tried to Steal the Shroud"
  • Saturday 7/26 at 8:30 AM–"Seven Secrets of the Sacred Shroud"
  • Saturday at 3:30 PM–"A Q&A with Russ Breault, Barrie Schwortz, and John and Rebecca Jackson"
  • Saturday at 5:00 PM–"God is in the Details" Main auditorium and will be streamed live.
  • Conference will be held at the Colorado Springs Marriott–Tech Center Dr.

Comment Promoted: A Misalignment Between the Left and Right Shoulders

imageThomas, in a comment, wonders:

. . . I’ve noticed the past few days that there appears to be a misalignment between the left and right shoulders / neck region. In particular, one side is lower than the other as if there was a dislocation. This corresponds with the arm positions on the frontal image ie. the right shoulder is set lower, as is the right arm.

This would seem to be an argument in favour of the image being generated from a real human (dead) body.