that unforgivable hoovering
Colin Berry, with his non-stop observant and inquisitive mind:
Am I not correct in thinking that there are dark specks associated with the tan-coloured areas, which are unlikely to be artefactual (chance deposits of dust etc) given they are absent for all intents and purposes in the less-strongly coloured non-image areas?
Flour particles, toasted?
(click on picture to see enlarged version)
A working hypothesis:
Working hypothesis. There are (or were, before the 2002 conservation measures, including that unforgivable hoovering) a scattering of dark-coloured particles on the TS concentrated mainly in the image-bearing regions, with far fewer in non-image regions.
An analysis of those particles would show them to be a substance that has been rendered yellow or brown by thermal energy ("heat" in common parlance). A possible candidate might be white flour particles – an intentional additive – one that acquired colour via a Maillard reaction, thus contributing to the image-forming process and hence its heterogeneity and complexity.
Do they match what we see in the Mark Evans pictures?
As ever, more and more work beckons. First, one will need to do microscopy on the flour-coated imprinted linen to see what happens to the appearance of individual flour particles, and whether or not they match the specks one sees in the above Mark Evans pictures, at least in terms of size.
And what did McCrone see?
Then comes the difficult part: to track down such papers are available online from the Walter McCrone Microscopy Institute on the studies he did on sticky-tape samples supplied by Ray Rogers. I definitely recall seeing one summary that had a long long list of the different types of particle he had identified.
One wonders what he would have made of those dark specks we see above if indeed they were flour or some other ‘food’ type particle that had undergone a Maillard reaction. One imagines it would take some fairly sophisticated kind of spectrographic microscopy to make a positive identification, but that is not my area, so there’s a steep learning curve that will need to be climbed to make headway.
In part, we can enjoy the human spectacle of varying views and hot reactions.
From the OSC IB Blogs for Students and Teachers (Oxford Study Courses International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) we get some opinion on examining the Shroud of Turin in TOK classes (Theory of Knowledge). Eileen Dombrowski has written a long, interesting blog posting, The Shroud of Turin: perspectives, faith, and evidence:
. . . Earlier this month (Oct 9-12), a conference in St. Louis, Missouri brought together international presenters and participants on the topic “Shroud of Turin: The Controversial Intersection of Faith and Science”. However, it is an article by historian Charles Freeman that may at last give some definitive answers. In an article published this week in History Today, he argues that the cloth is neither a miraculous burial shroud nor a deliberate hoax, but a 14th century cloth used in church Easter rituals with significance attributed later. His research is riveting for those of us interested in how knowledge is created.
As a starter for Theory of Knowledge teachers potentially interested in using the Turin Shroud in class, I’ll offer some ideas on whether and how to use it in class. . . .
It’s important to realize:
Certainly, the overall controversy over the Turin Shroud raises knowledge questions about the role of faith in interpretation of evidence – or more broadly about the role of perspectives in what is even considered to be “evidence”.Indeed, the basic beliefs or assumptions of perspectives are a good starting point for questions:
- if people do not accept the possibility of divine miracles and/or the divinity of Jesus Christ, they are likely to reject knowledge claims that the Turin cloth is His burial shroud;
- if they do accept this possibility, or if they are uncertain, they may or may not be persuaded by “evidence” the first group is likely to discount.
Relevant here are a coherence check for truth (Does this knowledge claim fit with what I already know?) and confirmation bias.
From a short list of potential course resources (do read Eileen Dombrowski’s posting):
- Some videos A short video linked from the website of the recent conference in Missouri provides a lively introduction to the controversy. It refers to investigations done by the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) and stresses the “fabulous mystery”: “Shroud Encounter: Experience the Mystery”. The conclusions reached by Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) are available.
- [ . . . ]
- The article by Charles Freeman is essential as one of the sources for a TOK critical treatment of the topic, and for a demonstration of the methods of the historian: “The Origins of the Shroud of Turin”, History Today. His article summarizes evidence such as carbon dating previously done and adds new research findings.
- It would be sad not to introduce students to a sense of the continuing controversy – not just its content but its tone. Refer students to the blog by Stephen Jones in which he rages at Charles Freeman – for his credentials as an historian (which, I must interject, are excellent!), the religious beliefs Jones infers that he must have, and his treatment of evidence. Stephen Jones’s own assertions are in turn dismissed with cutting brevity by another blogger, who accepts that the shroud may be authentic but ridicules Jones’ treatment. If you want to demonstrate how controversial knowledge claims can lead to emotional ranting and silliness, try clicking into some of the reader comments added to articles on the shroud.
Emotional ranting and silliness? At least . . . oh, well.
Discussion of the Shroud can lead to appreciation of how very much people really care about particular knowledge claims and what justifications they accept and pass on. In part, we can enjoy the human spectacle of varying views and hot reactions. Most important, though, we can hone our own critical thinking skills by seeing knowledge claims in context and evaluating the justifications offered.
BTW Book Mention: IB Theory of Knowledge Course Book: Oxford IB Diploma Program Course Book (Oxford IB Diploma Programme) – May 19, 2013 by Eileen Dombrowski (Author), Lena Rotenberg (Author), Mimi Bick (Author)
The home page of the Shroud Expo website now reads:
‘Thank you Royal Oak, Michigan. San Antonio, Texas is our new stop” Buy ANYTIME Tickets online for the incoming Exposition in San Antonio, Texas. ANYTIME Tickets will be for sale until 5 days prior to inauguration. Take advantage of this offer before it is too late. ANYTIME Ticket for sale at $ 12.00.
Taking a look at the ticket sale page, it looks like the exposition will run from November 13 to January 31, 2015. It is open every day, even Christmas Day, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. The guided tour takes 55 minutes.
Do check out the website:
Believers and non-believers, men and women will see this Exposition that touches the soul, awakens the heart and challenges the intelligence
The story never told
It is, in fact, the single most studied artifact in human history, and we know more about it today than we ever have before. And yet, the controversy still rages.
The visitor walks through 12 chambers through the history of the object most studied: The Shroud of Turin. From the finding of the Shroud and its hidden negative, the visitor will see and discover the history, science, controversy, and facts surrounding the Shroud of Turin.
The scientific response to the possible resurrection of the body of Jesus Christ.
More than 50 original pieces
Original pieces that allow the visitor to understand for themselves the history behind the Shroud.
Art, History and Science
Historical objects from the First to the Nineteenth Century such a codex, coins and several other pieces collected over a long study are in display, taking the visitor though an interaction of history and modern science, …… a journey about the man in the Shroud.
The exposition allows the visitor to be part of a unique experience showcasing a relic from the Eighteenth Century with a piece of the Shroud, sealed by Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758).
All visitors receive an Audio Guide to tour the Exposition. Visitors may choose among several languages: English, Spanish, French, Russian, Albanian, Arabic, Assyrian Aramaic, Polish, Portuguese, and Rumanian. The audio guide has a duration of about 55 minute duration.
The exposition offer visitors a high quality printed catalogue. This book allows visitors to relieve the magic of the twelve chambers of the exposition. For those not able to see the exposition, is a perfect introduction to history, science and the man in the Shroud.
Catalogue is available in English and Spanish.
I like to think that all we do in studying the shroud and talking and writing
about it finds its most important expression in voices like this one.
On Tuesday this week, Tim Lasiuta wrote about the shroud in the local Innisfail Province newspaper. Innisfail is a small agricultural town, midpoint between Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta. The population is just shy of 8,000 people:
The Shroud of Turin is a true mystery of the ages.
Whether or not you believe it is or is not the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, whether you dismiss it as medieval fake or a roughly 2,000-year-old piece of linen from the Jerusalem area, its existence makes you take a stand.
Last week, my wife and I went to St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church in Red Deer to see the venerated Shroud of Turin, or at least the ninth copy in North America, and the experience was amazing.
[ . . . ]
Having seen the copy first-hand, I can say there are some things you need to experience in life.
You just never know how you will respond.
Ninth copy refers to one of nine copies of the shroud Pope Benedict XVI approved and individually blessed for display in tours around the world.
It took nearly 17 years after our direct examination of the cloth before the
scientific evidence actually convinced me of the shroud’s authenticity.
— Barrie Schwortz
As David V. Barrett reports today in the Catholic Herald, an Expert dismisses historian’s claim that Turin Shroud was made for medieval ritual:
. . . Schwortz, an expert in imaging and the official documenting photographer of STURP, dismisses Mr Freeman’s claims.
He told the Catholic Herald: “I have seen copies of the shroud (commissioned by the Savoy and other royal families) made by artists allowed to view the actual cloth that look very little like the shroud. It is not an easy image to reproduce. I have examined, studied and lectured on the shroud for nearly 38 years yet would have great difficulty in describing the image on the cloth in writing. So variations in early written descriptions or artistic copies doesn’t seem like very convincing evidence against authenticity. And there are many early coins and artworks that appear to have directly and faithfully copied the image on the shroud. Perhaps that is more a testament to the quality of the artists involved and the difficulties one encounters when attempting to duplicate the shroud’s image.”
Mr Schwortz referred to the scientific evidence that is “the basis for my opinion that the shroud cannot be an artwork. STURP’s data provided empirical evidence to that effect, although the sceptics of the world continue to deny it”.
He continued: “Remember that I am Jewish (not Messianic), and it took nearly 17 years after our direct examination of the cloth before the scientific evidence actually convinced me of the shroud’s authenticity. It was the science that did it.”
No Dan Porter, I am not a small boy playing with flour, and your continued attempts to infantilize do you no credit whatsoever. Nor does your attempt to block free speech. Nor does your tolerance of trolls on that site of yours who specialize in making character attacks.
Go boil your head, Dan Porter. I’m heartily sick of you and your tedious popgun attacks,
Since I offended you Colin, I apologize. I have removed the picture from the blog posting. It was not my intention to insult you with the picture. No one, as I imagined it, would think you are like a small boy playing with flour. In fact, I’ve been intrigued by your experiments and have said so. I was merely injecting a bit of humor into the posting, or so I thought.
Sometimes I use a picture to make a point. I did so long ago with a picture of Don Quixote attacking a windmill because that is how I saw what you were doing at the time. You have repeatedly expressed your displeasure about that picture. In that case I said nothing. The picture was an editorial stance no different than my use of an ostrich with his head in the sand to characterize Stephen Jones’ comment that he doesn’t know about some of the shroud news because he will not look at my blog and has not done so since May.
You say I am trying to block free speech. No, I’m not. You have made 1,461 comments in this blog (18 after you switched to another ISP). I have discarded 2 comments by you and edited the contents of another 6. All but one were because of insults. One that I discarded had the single word ‘bye’ in it and was redundant. I will put that one back. I have periodically pre-moderated your comments when you started dishing out excessively insulting remarks and then opened up comments again usually in a day or two.
People have left this blog because of insults. They have mentioned you. I have tried to stick to some principles. Anyone should be able to comment. Right now, I have a list of 4 people who are blacklisted because they have trolled the site, been excessively insulting to others or used excessively anti-Catholic rhetoric. You are not on that list.
This blog is not a public blog. Even so, I try to be fair, balanced and accommodating to everyone. But, like a newspaper, I don’t have to publish every letter to the editor. Is that blocking free speech? No, it is not. Not good enough? Well . . . you do have that corner in Hyde Park and you have your blogs.
There are no trolls on this site “who specialize in making character attacks.” And this is a picture of me boiling my head.
Oh what a tangled website we weave,
When first we start with what we believe!*
* With apologies to Sir Walter Scott
When asked if he would be publishing more about Charles Freeman’s recent article, Stephen Jones in a comment replied, “Sorry, but I have bigger fish to fry than Freeman.”
He needs, he explained, to finish his series, "My theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker" and complete:
. . . "The Servant of the Priest," which is unexpectedly very important) (e.g the Shroud (sindon) was not in the empty tomb but the risen Jesus took it with Him and gave it to "the servant of the priest," as recorded in the early 2nd century "Gospel of the Hebrews, who was either: a) Malchus (Jn 18:10); b) Peter (confused by a copyist error); or more likely c) John (who tradition records was a priest and is supported by the New Testament but too complex to give in this comment), and is supported by John knowing the name of the High Priest’s servant Malchus (see above), and being known to the High Priest, the High Priest’s servant girl and having easy and authoritative entry into the High Priest’s house (Jn 18:15-16); and therefore John may have even been a servant in the High Priest’s household, and his code name (in that early era of persecution was "the servant of the priest).
Too complex? I’ll wait.
Back to the subject of Charles’ article; I would like to see Jones rewrite and publish his criticism of Freeman’s article without the poisoning of the well and the defense of the hacker theory. Both of those things damage the posting’s credibility as an otherwise fairly good analysis.