To twice slay the slain,
[…] Is but labour in vain,
Unproductive of gain,
—"Monkeyana" from Punch, May 1861
Blogging is different than mid-nineteenth century satire. It is at once more interesting and less poetic.
Barrie Schwortz, in his latest update, highlighted a relatively new, fascinating paper, The Mysterious Coexistence of Bloodstains and Body Image on the Shroud of Turin Explained by a Stochastic Process by G. Fazio, Y. Clement and G. Mandaglio. The article was published in the Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry International Journal (Vol.14, No. 2) in June of 2014. Barrie noted that he has added the above link to appropriate lists of papers on his site.
If you missed it before (or you want to twice slay the slain) there are some interesting comments from when I blogged about this paper this past June in Paper Chase: A Natural Stochastic Process May Explain the Coexistence of Bloodstains and an Image on the Shroud of Turin. Read all 15 comments.
Within a day of the posting, Yannick Clément felt compelled to write, at some length, Clarification of the Stochastic Process Paper. It is important to read this along with the paper.
Thibault Heimburger was one of the people who had commented. That evoked this from Colin Berry (see Photomicrographs and Stochastic Imaging):
Thibault Heimburger is correct – Shroud photomicrographs lend no support to the notion of a ‘stochastic’ imaging mechanism.
And there is more. You can enter ‘stochastic’ in the blogs search field.
Threads photograph is inlined from Colin’s blog HERE. Colin captions the image: “The difference between those areas within the blue and red rectangles may possibly have theoretical significance as regards the mechanism of imaging (stochastic v deterministic, if you’ll pardon the jargon). Why? Read on…”
The bloodie body TS image was artificially “aged” by external heating source at low temperature; most likely Second Temple Period ritual fumigation to dry out the wrapped-up body (+ body hyperthermia?).
Addition: The Shroud bloodied body was “aged” with “(its) blood (still) looking unrealistically red” as if shed the day before. It is what I will call is “an apparently paradoxical imprint/image”.
The TS body image looks fuzzier than a herbal one and the 2D floral images the Whangers and Danin detected and identified on the shroud look very faint whereas the 3D floral images I detected around Tamburelli’s TS man’s face HD close-up 3D reconstruction can stare to the eyes of attentive observer).
Typo: can stare into the eyes of the attentive observer
Methinks too, there’s is no stochastic imaging process involved in The TS bloodied body image.
Sorry, but most of the content of that paper by Fazio et al. does not make sense.
First, I am pretty sure that no peer review of that paper was done by any physicists because, among other things, the received and accepted dates are exactly the same: 24/02/2014. That is, the editor received and accepted the paper the same day! This is not serious. No review could have been done during such a short time. I have never seen this type of review in all the papers I have published and read in my life.
Second, Fazio has been publishing the same rhetoric about this stochastic process in some other four (or probably even five or six) other published papers. I raise ethical issues on that point.
Third, the presentation about this stochastic process does not make sense: there is no physical relationship between the energy level and a stochastic process. This is what the paper is concluding but no such relationship can be proven because it is false. High energy physical processes can create a stochastic process as well as low energy ones. And there is attempt of a proof, whatsoever, of such a relationship in the paper.
Yannick is a big proponent of this process.
Clément: “I’ve learn through Mr. Fazio that one of the referee was Alan Mills,”
Allan Mills can scarcely be considered to be an independent judge. He is a sindonologist and is quoted three times in the paper by Fazio et al. Now I understand what is the meaning of “peer review”: a paper written by a sindonologist must be reviewed by his “peers”, that is other sindonologists!
Posted on behalf of Yannick, who may not comment on this blog (with some editing on my part):
Mr. Latendresse said that, in his mind, there was surely no physicist in the peer-review commity… I want to claim here [he is totally wrong.] I’ve learn through Mr. Fazio that one of the referee was Alan Mills, who is a senior lecturer in Planetary Science at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Leicester University in England and who should know Physics quite well!
Also, Mr. Latendresse should know that Mr. Mills spent a long time studying the Shroud and even proposed an interesting natural image formation hypothesis involving atoms of singlet oxygen that would have been released by the corpse of the Shroud man. Because of this, I think his presence on the commity of referees was truly relevant and was a guaranty of the professionalism of our paper (thanks to Fazio and Mandaglio), even though I agree that this paper could have been even better (and more “accurate”).
Finally, I also want to inform Mr. Latendresse and anyone else that our final draft was blocked the first time and we had to rewrite some parts of our paper before we finally got the approval from the 3 referees who analyzed our paper. I can ensure you that this process of peer-review was done with professionalism and with honesty from the 3 referees, as well as from the 3 authors of the paper in question…
“Mr. Mills spent a long time studying the Shroud and even proposed an interesting natural image formation hypothesis involving atoms of singlet oxygen that would have been released by the corpse of the Shroud man.”
An “atom” of singlet oxygen? One learns something new each day…
I would like to conclude my reply to Mr. Latendresse (this will be my final reply to him) by saying first that if Fazio published his image formation hypothesis in various scientific papers (which are all, by the way, authentic peer-reviewed journals, so his science must be somehow pretty good!), THAT’S IS RIGHT! Fanti and many other researchers have done exactly the same over the years in order to propose their pet hypothesis to a wider range of people. Personally, I have nothing against that, as long as the hypothesis in question stay inside the range of the known laws of nature, while taking into account all the known characteristics of the body image.
And secondly, when it comes to the critics adressed to the presentation of Fazio and Mandaglio hypothesis, and especially the claim that “high energy physical processes can create a stochastic process as well as low energy ones”, I would say that, in Fazio and Mandaglio’s mind, this is not true IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SHROUD IMAGE. In another context completely different than the Shroud image, I don’t know if there can be some stochastic processes that can get started with the presence or the release of some high amount of energy, but I know that, from Fazio and Mandaglio’s perspective, this could not be the case in the context of the Shroud image, once we understand well all its known characteristics… To them, the global portrait given by these characteristics of the image, and especially the discontinuous distribution of colored fibers in the image area (which can be seen as a “stochastic result” of coloration) coupled with the extreme superficiality of the image, could only be explain by the presence of a low amount of energy that was released by the corpse (or by something resting on the skin and hair of the man) and which started the yellowing process on the cloth’s surface.
However, after a lot of exchanges between me and Mr. Fazio, I succeed to convince him (and Mandaglio through him) that there was another alternative that could also explain quite well the body image and particularly the two interesting characteristics I just mentioned… But I can ensure you that a sudden burst of high-energy from the corpse was not part of that alternative scenario! Not at all! In fact, the alternative in question that can offer, we believe, a viable solution to explain the discontinuous distribution as well as the extreme superficiality of the image is the one proposed by Ray Rogers, which is related to the potential nature of the image chromophore (i.e. a chromophore located only in a thin AND UNEVEN layer of carbohydrate impurities).
And that’s when, after some more reflection on the subject, I came up with the personal feeling that there are probably some chances that, in fact, the discontinuous aspect of the image and its extreme superficiality can well have come from BOTH SCENARIOS (i.e. the release of a low amount of “energy” from the corpse that could only have been able to interact with A PORTION of the coated fibers located on the top-surface of the cloth). As I said before, I truly believe I’m the very first one to ever come up with such a theoretical proposal, which can be seen as a kind of fusion between Rogers and Fazio-Mandaglio hypotheses in order to explain all the known characteristics of the Shroud image and particularly the two characteristics I underlined in this comment + the banding effect visible on the cloth and its relationship with the various densities of the image. One thing’s for sure : Rogers did not thought about such a fusion, nor the tandem of Fazio and Mandaglio!
Seriously, I truly believe that such a proposal would deserve to get fully tested under proper lab control by a real expert in the field of biochemistry (a CSI type of scientist would be great). Of course, I’m well aware of the fact that this would need someone very motivated with a lot of resources (effectively, the range of possible source of the weak energy is quite large and there are a lot of different possible environmental conditions to reproduce), but I think this kind of testing could greatly help our understanding of the most probable mechanism that lead to the image formation… Hopefully, one day, someone will come across my hypothesis and will get interested so much by it that he will decide to go ahead with some testing…
P.S.: I would like to say to Mr. Gian Marco Rinaldi that we (me, Fazio and Mandaglio) had NO IDEA who were the 3 referees that had to judge our paper until they send us their first report. And even then, Mr. Fazio only learned the name of one of the 3 referees, so there are good chances that the other two were not sindonologists at all. One more comment: Even if Mills did was a sindonologist at one point, that doesn’t change the FACT that he’s a real scientist who knew physics very well and, therefore, was a good choice to evaluate our paper and propose some changes. As I said, our paper wasn’t approved in the first time and 2 or the 3 referees (including Mills) forces us to rework our paper a bit in a few places. Again, I want to ensure everyone who will read my comment that the peer-review process was completely legit, honest and professional, just like the other peer-review processes in which Mr. Fazio had to pass before he could publish all his other papers about the Shroud. As I said, at the beginning of the peer-review process, we didn’t knew the names of the 3 referees and we never gave any money to the journal to get published. I will never let anyone here make comments to suggest our paper hadn’t been evaluate correctly through a real and serious peer-review process. You can disagree with our image formation hypothesis, but please, don’t attack the credibility, honesty and serious scientific background of nuclear physicists like Fazio and Mandaglio, who are well-known and well-respected in their field of expertise in Italy…”
Yannick, I do believe you when you say that you did not know the names of the referees. Speaking in general, I have often found that scientific journals publish sindonology papers that (in my opinion of course) are invalid or even complete nonsense. I wonder why sindonology papers happen to be reviewed by referees who are so Shroud-friendly. One possibility is that the authors themselves have suggested the names of the referees (this is not your own case). There are journals which accept suggestions from the authors as to the names of the referees. Apart from this, when an editor receives a paper on the Shroud (a subject about which he knows nothing) it is natural for him to submit the paper to referees who are themselves sindonologists. At any rate, if I read a paper for which I have myself a negative opinion, I do not change my opinion because the paper has passed the peer review or because the authors have academic credentials.
Incidentally, you probably know that Giulio Fanti has published a note criticizing another 2014 paper by Fazio et al:
That paper has been linked on our library page since February (http://ShroudNM.com/Library.html). Look under Articles sorted in date sequence. It’s an interesting paper.
Allan (Two ‘L’s) Mills wrote a paper entitled “Image formation on the Shroud of Turin: the reactive oxygen intermediates hypothesis,” (Interdisciplinary Science Reviews,1995) in which his singlet oxygen idea was first proposed. I cannot find it online, but in 1999 it was replied to, and refuted, by Nicholas Allen (of a photograph hypothesis), Nanette Smith and Roderick Woollgar. It is not clear whether their quotations from Mills come directly from his paper or from Knight and Lomas’s book The Second Messiah (1997), which uses Mills quite extensively for scientific support, and whose own photographic hypothesis Allen is keen to denigrate!
Here are some significant passages from Allen et al’s article.
“Mills is good enought to admit that although not ‘individually demanding’, the particular set of circumstances he needs for this image formation is ‘highly unlikely.’ ”
“Singlet oxygen, contrary to the claims of Kight and Lomas, can only be produced by enzymic action within the phagocytes of the body. It is not possible for this highly reactive radical to pass to the outside of the human body. Mills also correctly explains that ‘it is not expected that a charged ion would be able to cross the cell membrane and enter the gas phase’, but he does go on to state that the excited form of the oxygen molecule, known as singlet oxygen (symbolised as 1 delta g O2) behaves as an activated form of normal oxygen and consequently is able to ‘cross membranes such as those in the lungs and red blood corpuscles’. This statement is somewhat misleading because in fact the activated oxygen is produced within the red blood corpuscle as part of the pentose phosphate shunt and is thus unable to escape the cell membrane as it is in existence for only a few nanoseconds”.
All this is somewhat above my pay-grade, but it may be interesting to hear Colin’s comments.
Allan Mills has been Honorary Chairman of the BSTS. Searching for Mills in the index of the Newsletter in the BSTS page at shroud.com, one finds a 2002 paper on the formation of the image, a 2009 shorter article, the 1996 account of a lecture on the singlet oxygen theory.
Gosh! Hats off to him. Still, it goes to show what a variety of people you find in the BSTS!
I contacted the editor-in-chief of the MAA journal, Ioannis Liritzis, to clarify if a review process took place for the Fazio et al. paper. First, he confirmed that the received date of the paper was in error: it was 27/10/2013 and not 24/02/2014, which now makes it possible that a review took place; second, that there was a review by two referees.
One of the author of that paper has made public, on this blog, the name of one of the anonymous referees. I am not sure if this referee consented to have his name made public.
Still, the more I read the paper the more I conclude that its main claim is not only unproven but is meaningless. The main claim of the paper I am referring to is given in the abstract: “In this paper we prove that a natural stochastic process can offer a rational and scientific explanation that can account for all the known properties of these bloodstains and body images.”
There is clearly no such proof in the paper. The term “stochastic process” typically means that a probabilistic model of the physical process has been designed, using random variables and probability distributions. None of that appear in the paper.
The paper is so confusing and contradictory that it is difficult to even pinpoint what they are trying to say. For example, in the last paragraph of section 2.4 we can read “Such damage on the fibrils, which depends on the intensity of the energy sources and their macroscopic effect (yellowing of fibrils), is purely probabilistic.”. What does “purely probabilistic” mean? That the probability has an uniform distribution? If so, than the image would appear has noise, not as an image of a man.
In the Introduction we can read “For us, on the Shroud, there are latent body images (ventral and dorsal), yielded by the action of a stochastic process that is triggered by a little quantity of energy, without threshold to appear, with effects that have a time of latency of the order of many years. These effects are absent just when the energy is zero.” How much is “a little quantity of energy”? We get no clue whatsoever from the rest of paper. We read “without threshold to appear” what does that mean? “Energy zero”, but at room temperature the air has energy. Was the Shroud sealed in a vacuum at some point?
And where is the discussion in the paper that relates a stochastic process and the creation of bloodstains? What is the “random” aspect of bloodstains? Such a claim is incomprehensible.
Mario’s comments that the paper’s description of a stochastic process is meaningless, is what I have long suspected. I believe the authors have little concept of what a stochastic process actually is, and they have used a technical term as a piece of jargon they do not understand. If there are merits in the paper, they are concealed by their misuse of these technical terms.
I want to inform people here that me, Fazio and Mandaglio had the project to write a complementary paper on the subject, but unfortunately, due to health problem, Mr. Fazio decided to put a hold on this project. I don’t even know if this new paper will ever get done in the future.
Nevertheless, I would like to give you 2 important extracts that were parts of this paper (which was almost finished when Mr. Fazio droped out of the project) and I hope this will help some people to understand better our ideas about the Shroud image formation and maybe see the potential good value of our theoretical work on the subject:
Extract #1: « Concerning the amino reactant, they start to get released by the corpse some time after death, when the decomposition process starts producing ammonia and amines (e.g. cadaverine and putrescine). It’s important to note that ammonia and many of the amines are volatile and would rapidly undergo Maillard reactions with any starch deposits and/or reducing saccharides they contact, thus causing a dehydration of these carbohydrate impurities that lead to the production of the same kind of yellow color that has been observed in the image area of the Shroud. These authors take also into account the high temperature gradient dT/dx value, which would have had a large effect on the above reaction rates. Here, we must underline the fact that this hypothesis do not propose that a stochastic event happened at the surface of the cloth during the image formation process because, as it was described by Rogers and Arnoldi, we must expect that each topmost fibril that would have come in contact with the postmortem gases released by the corpse would have theoretically been yellowed if such a fibril was coated with carbohydrate impurities. In this case, the discontinuous distribution of colored fibrils and the extreme superficiality of the image would be entirely explained by the uneven distribution of the impurities on the surface of the cloth, instead of by a weak amount of energy that would have been responsible for the start of a stochastic process of yellowing.
Consequently, we think it’s relevant to propose an alternative scenario to Rogers and Arnoldi’s hypothesis that would involve the release of a small quantity of ammonia and/or amines by the corpse, which would have still been enough to start a stochastic process that would have slowly yellowed the surface of only a portion of the most superficial fibrils of the cloth that would have been hit by this weak energy (or only a portion of the carbohydrate impurities that were possibly coating those fibrils, as it was described by Rogers and Arnoldi), thus leading to the formation of a very superficial body image with a discontinuous distribution of yellowed fibrils some years or decades later. In sum, this alternative hypothesis is quite similar to the one described by Rogers and Arnoldi, except for the change we introduced in one crucial parameter, which is the amount of energy (i.e., post-mortem gases) that could have been involved in the image formation process. We believe that this new parameter could be enough to change the nature of the image formation process proposed by Rogers and Arnoldi from a deterministic one, in which every coated fibrils that would come in contact with the post-mortem gases would eventually become colored to a stochastic process, in which only a portion of the coated fibrils that would be hit by these gases would eventually become visibly yellowed. To our knowledge, such an alternative hypothesis has never been proposed before and should be the subject of future investigations.
Before concluding this part of our paper in which we talk about our alternative hypothesis, it’s important to note that the question remains open as to whether the weak release of post-mortem gases could have come from the surface of the skin and hair (because of the presence of urea that would have been left there after the drying of the abundant sweat and which would have been transformed into ammonia gas some time later), or directly from within the corpse during the very first stage of its decomposition (as it was described by Rogers and Arnoldi), or eventually from both sources. There’s no doubt that this is an important aspect that would need to be investigated more deeply in order to refine our hypothesis. Finally, we must also underline the fact that if the image color is truly located in a thin and uneven layer of impurities on the cloth’s surface (and in the light of the very interesting result obtained by Rogers during a coloration experiment he described in his book, this might well be the case), then the particular nature of this chromophore could certainly have played an important role in the formation of the body image, along with the stochastic event of coloration that would have been triggered by the release of a weak amount of post-mortem gases by the corpse. Effectively, there’s no doubt that the concentration of these impurities on the surfaces of the topmost fibrils of the cloth would have contributed heavily to prevent the production of color deeper into the cloth and the probable uneven distribution of these impurities from one fibril to another (with a greater concentration on the fibrils located at the highest parts of the weave) would have contributed to accentuate the discontinuous distribution of colored fibrils in the image area. Also, the presence of some small differences in the average thickness of the impurity layer from one batch of thread to another would have certainly contributed to produce the slight differences in the image density that has been observed on the Shroud.”
Extract #2: “Here, we must underline the following: (a) theoretically, it would be easier for a stochastic event involving a weak amount of energy to affect and colored these kinds of external impurities located on the surface of the fibril, which are made almost exclusively of carbohydrates, than it would for the structure of the linen fibril itself, including its most superficial layer known as the primary cell wall, which is easier to color nevertheless than the deepest layers known as the secondary cell walls because of the presence of a much larger amount of polysaccharides of lower activation than the cellulose (like hemicelluloses and pectin) in that first part of the fibril, and (b) if the chromophore of the image is only located in this sort of layer of carbohydrate impurities, it is probable that it was not evenly distributed on the top-surface of the cloth at the time of the image formation, which can explain the general discontinuous distribution of colored fibrils that has been observed in the image area, as well as offering a pretty good answer to the observation that, among this discontinuous distribution, we sometimes see bundles of yellowed fibrils right next to bundles of uncolored fibrils (this seem to be particularly true in expected zones of direct contacts between the body and the cloth, where the energy that hit the cloth was the more intense during the image formation process).
On this subject, we must note that Rogers made some experiments to simulate the evaporation-concentration phenomenon that would have created this layer of carbohydrate impurities on the top-surface of the Shroud during the final drying of the cloth (probably in open air), after its weaving and washing (probably with Sapanaria Officinalis). A good summary of these experiments can be found in the book he wrote about the Shroud and the most important results are the fact that such a natural phenomenon can take the impurities that are usually trapped inside a cloth after its manufacture and final washing, and concentrate them as a thin coating on the evaporating surface of the cloth (sometimes even on both surfaces, depending of the way the drying his done) and such a concentration of impurities on the cloth’s surface can get formed in a very non-homogeneous way (depending of the type of cloth) and this is true even at fibril level where the surface of one particular fibril can get coated by those impurities, while the one located right next to it can stay completely free of any impurity. Here, it’s important to note that if such an evaporation-concentration phenomenon really formed a thin and uneven layer of carbohydrate impurities on the top-surface of the cloth, this kind of non-homogeneous and unpredictable result can be seen as another stochastic event that possibly contributed heavily to the formation of the body image on the Shroud, even if it happened during the manufacture of the cloth, well before the beginning of the image formation process. Effectively, if the image chromophore is really located solely inside this sort of thin and uneven layer of impurities, this would explain, at least partially if not completely, some of the most particular characteristics of the image, including its very thin thickness, the discontinuous distribution of yellowed fibrils in the image area, as well as the fact that the density of the image is slightly different on the various lots of threads that have been used to manufacture the cloth, even though the spectra of each colored fibril is identical in every part of the image.
Taking this into account, we must consider the possibility that such a uneven (stochastic) distribution of carbohydrate impurities on the top-surface of the cloth can be, in fact, the primary reason for the presence of a discontinuous (stochastic) distribution of colored fibrils in the image area, instead of the weak nature of the energy that was released by the corpse and which started the image formation process on the cloth’s surface, as we proposed in our previous papers. However, we must also state categorically that, even if the uneven nature of the impurity layer would really be the main reason why the body image is showing a discontinuous distribution of colored fibrils, the fact remains that the energy that would have reacted with it (whether it be the post-mortem gases proposed by Rogers and Arnoldi or the other forms of weak energies we analyzed in the present paper) must have been pretty weak, because it would have only been able to yellow these carbohydrate impurities, while leaving the underlying fibrils undamaged and uncolored. That’s why even if such a scenario would be true, we should still consider the various types of biological energies that we analyzed in this paper as being the most probable forms of energies that could have been at the origin of the image formation process.
In sum, we can conclude that the discontinuous and very superficial nature of the Shroud image at fibril level and the slight differences of image density from one thread to another could not have come from anything else than: (a) the particular weakness of the still undetermined energy involved in the image formation process (as it would be for our own image formation hypothesis involving thermal diffusion or for those proposed by Mills and DeSalvo) or by (b) the uneven and very thin aspect of the image substrate, which would have been composed uniquely of carbohydrates impurities residing on the outside surfaces of the colored fibrils (as it would be for Rogers and Arnoldi’s image formation hypothesis) or by (c) both factors acting together (as it would be for the alternative scenario we propose concerning Rogers and Arnoldi’s image formation hypothesis, as well as the ones proposed by Mills, DeSalvo and us, if the weak energy they imply have only reacted with a layer of carbohydrate impurities residing on-top of the colored fibrils).
Finally, it is still possible to think that other natural mechanisms that have never been proposed yet could be able to yield the kind of stochastic distribution of yellowed fibrils we see in the image area on the Shroud or at least, to have reacted with the carbohydrate impurities proposed by Rogers and Arnoldi, thus causing this kind of stochastic result. If someone proposes a natural mechanism of this nature in the future, this could be added in the list of potential sources of energy that could have contributed to the Shroud body image formation. For this reason, this paper does not solve the question. On the contrary, it offers to the Scientific Community involved in the study of the Shroud of Turin a good reason to pursue further investigations, which could include coloring tests on linen samples that would be made with a known ancient method of manufacturing linen cloths. Here, it should be noted that, at the exception of Raymond Rogers, who did some preliminary tests on linen samples to verify some important aspects of his image formation hypothesis (in some cases, Rogers get very interesting results and in some other cases, not), no other natural hypothesis that have been described in this paper have been tested under proper lab control, which means that, for the moment, their potential to explain the Shroud body image remains theoretical only.
P.S.: I want to thank Dan Porter for having remove the “embargo” against me, so that I can publish these extracts from our unpublished paper. Hope you’ll find this interesting and particularly my own personal alternative hypothesis…
Note concerning extract #1 (for a better comprehension): it starts with a quote from Rogers and Arnoldi’s paper about the Maillard reaction hypothesis. So, in the first paragraph, when you read “These authors take also into account the high temperature gradient dT/dx value…”, please understand that we’re talking about Rogers and Arnoldi.
Additional note: in the extract #1, we describe an alternative scenario to the one proposed by Rogers and Arnoldi and that’s why we mention the hypothesis of ammonia that could have been released by the skin and hair of the Shroud man, after the drying of his sweat, as an alternative for the source of energy proposed by them (i.e. post-mortem gases coming from within the corpse). Here, it’s very important to understand that our alternative hypothesis for image formation do not necessarily exclude other forms of weak energy that could have been at the origin of the image formation process or that could have worked together with a release of post-mortem gases by the body. Most of these other weak sources of energy are biological like for example the deposits of lactic acid on the skin and hair proposed by DeSalvo or the release of singlet atoms of oxygen by the corpse proposed by Mills… However, the presence of one or more highly volatile and reactive burial substance(s) on the Shroud man’s corpse is another possible source of weak energy that cannot, at that moment, be totally excluded in the context of the Shroud image formation (even though Rogers and Adler never found any traces of such products during their chemical analyses of image fibers).
After all that, I’m afraid the content of this paper does nothing to justify its title: The Mysterious Coexistence of Bloodstains and Body Image on the Shroud of Turin Explained by a Stochastic Process. Their abstract states that their paper reconciles the apparent dichotomy between coincident ‘contact’ blood stains and ‘distance’ image-stains, when in fact it does no such thing. The proposed mechanism for their stochastic process, a fortuitous arrangement of a ‘surface layer’ which only appears on the very crowns of the threads and the release of singlet oxygen from the body, has been shown to be wholly unrealistic. We discussed this briefly in June, and I can’t say that any of Yannick’s ‘explanations’ above make the paper any more valuable than it was then.
The mysterious coexistence of bloodstains (which only came from direct contacts) and the body image (which came from direct contacts as well as short distance transfer) is explained in our paper by the probable fact that some bloodstains have been directly transferred to the cloth at some point of the burial process, but would have later been moved away from the cloth before the ending of that burial procedure. That’s why we can see some “mysterious” bloodstains (like the one that is off the elbow, along with many scourge marks that are off the body image a bit) being not in sync with the body image.
Do you understand better now or do I need to produce a drawing?
In order for people to understand better our paper, I realize now that we should have change it for “The Mysterious Coexistence of SOME Bloodstains and Body Image on the Shroud of Turin Explained by a change in the configuration of the cloth at some point during the burial procedure and by a stochastic process of image formation happening some time after the end of that burial procedure”.
Last thing: Concerning the singlet atoms of oxygen as a potential source of the weak energy responsible for the start of the image formation, I don’t think we can totally exclude such a possibiliy for the moment, because it hasn’t been properly tested Under good lab control IN THE CONTEXT OF A CRUCIFIED CORPSE LYING INSIDE AN ANCIENT LINEN SHROUD. I must admit that, personally, this is not my favorite hypothesis for the source of weak energy, but I’m not dumb enough to totally exclude it for the moment, just I’m not ready to exclude the possibility of some burial product(s) as the source of the weak energy.
Again, we can see on this blog, from one of the authors of the paper, basic misunderstanding about stochastic processes . A stochastic process does not imply low energy, which is one of the major claims of the Fazio et al. paper. This fact is obvious and the authors appear confused on the matter. There are thousands of papers using stochastic processes to model high-energy physics. Text books are written on the matter. See a small sample:
The Editor-in-Chief of MAAJ accepted that I write a critical review of the Fazio et al. paper. My understanding is that the authors will have the opportunity to answer that review.
Here, I would like to give an extract taken from a paper named « Stochastic distribution of the fibrils that yielded the Shroud of Turin body image » that has been published in the very good peer-reviewed scientific journal « Radiation Effects and Defects in Solids » that described the general conclusion these 2 nuclear physicists reached concerning the Shroud image formation, after having analyzed the most important characteristics of this image :
« The probability that a fibril becomes more yellow, contributing to the image yield, is a linear
function of the energy received from the fabric that decreases when the cloth–body distance
increases. Besides, their optical density value (always the same) is independent of this energy.
With this state of affairs, we obtain a stochastic yellowed fibril distribution. In fact:
(a) the probability of a fibril yellowing is a function of the energy; (personal note : this means that in places where we found a higher proportion of colored fibers for example : in the zones of direct-contact between the corpse and the cloth), that’s where the energy that yield this yellowing result was higher).
(b) the optical density value of a fibril is not a function of the energy. (personal note : this means that no matter the quantity of energy present in a zone, if there was a coloring result coming from that energy, it produced roughly the very same color. Here, in order to be more precise, I think Fazio and Mandaglio should have wrote « of a yellowed fibril » instead of just « of a fibril »).
This picture is very similar to that which occurs when numerous groups of persons absorb
energy by radiation. In fact, it is known that when the absorbed dose is low, the risk of falling
ill for the persons that constitute the irradiated group is of stochastic type. The probability of the event is a function of the absorbed dose, while this is not the case for the seriousness of the effect. Regarding the Shroud of Turin, all the fibrils in the image area represent the numerous groups of persons; the most yellowed ones, those that yielded the Shroud body image, represent the events. The radiation and the chemical processes, when little quantities of energy are transferred to a large number of subjects, can yield stochastic distributions. In such a case, the effects have times of latency that are of the order of many years (e.g. a few decades). Besides, these effects do not need a threshold dose to appear. For the Shroud of Turin, this statement means that the fibrils that have yielded the body image have increased their optical density over a few decades. Therefore, we can state that the Shroud body image is a latent image, in agreement with the hypothesis that its formation is not due to an artist. »
This quote gives you a pretty summary of the kind of stochastic process of image formation they had in mind concerning the Shroud. They gave a pretty good example of such a stochastic process, which concern a numerous group of persons that would absorb a little quantity of radiation and only a portion of them would eventually get ill after a certain period of time. In the context of the Shroud image, such an example can be transposed like this : a high portion of the topmost fibers in the image area on the Shroud (and maybe all of them) have been hit by a weak release of « energy » (which can well have come directly from the Shroud man’s corpse), but only a portion of these fibers that came in contact with this weak energy have eventually been yellowed over a certain period of time, which can be counted in years and maybe in decades.
The basis of their hypothesis is summarized in this sentence: « The radiation and the chemical processes, when little quantities of energy are transferred to a large number of subjects, can yield stochastic distributions ». This is that particular kind of stochastic process they had in mind in the context of the Shroud image and not another type of stochastic process that would get started by a high amount of energy!
For them, it’s obvious that if the release of energy would have been important (like in the case of numerous radiation hypotheses that have been proposed over the years, including a corona discharge and a burst of UV light), we would expect, in theory, to get a coloring result that would show some important differences of properties than what has been observed on the Shroud. Here’s some probable differences we could expect: a) a yellowing of all the fibers that would have been hit by this high energy in question, which would probably have resulted in a much more homogeneous distribution of colored fibers in the image area, and particularly in the zones of direct-contact where the energy was at his peak (which is not what is seen on the Shroud and which must be considered as a « deterministic process » and not a stochastic process) and/or b) a difference in the level of penetration of the color inside a particular linen thread (which is not what is seen on the Shroud), whether the source of that high energy was located in direct-contact with the cloth (thus producing a more in-deep penetration of color inside the linen threads receiving that energy, because of the presence of more energy there) or at some distance from it (thus producing a more superficial penetration of color inside the threads, because less energy would be present there) and/or c) a difference in the level of penetration of the color inside the structure of a particular linen fiber (which is not what is seen on the Shroud), whether the source of that high energy was located in direct-contact with the cloth (thus producing a more in-deep penetration of color inside the structure of the linen fibers receiving that energy, because of the presence of more energy there) or at some distance from it (thus producing a more superficial penetration of color inside the fibers, because less energy would be present there).
I hope this will help some people to understand why they associated their stochastic process of image formation with a low level of energy that would have been released by the corpse and why they reject the possibility that a high level of energy could have been present at the time of the image formation. Note that the fact that the bloodstains have not been affected or damaged by the image formation process, even though they were already on the cloth, is a good piece of evidence to back-up such a conclusion, along with the kind of discontinuous distribution of colored fibers and the ultra-superficiality of the image.
But having said that, I have to say that there’s another possibility that exist other than a stochastic process that would have been started by a weak release of energy and that’s the deterministic process described by Rogers, who propose that a release of post-mortem gases could have interracted with a thin and uneven layer of impurities, which would have produced a visible yellowing on the fiber’ surface each time a minimum amount of « catalytic compounds » (still undetermined, but which could probably have been pretty small) would have come in contact with a mimimum amount of impurities (still undetermined, but again, which could probably have been pretty small). Because of the kind of very thin and uneven chromophore involved, this other scenario could also account theoretically for all the known characteristics of the body image on the Shroud. In our MAA paper, we mention this particular hypothesis as being another possible solution for the Shroud image formation.
And after the publication of our paper in the MAA journal, I came to the conclusion that there are some good chances that, in reality, they acted together in order to produce the kind of highly-discontinuous and ultra-superficial image we see on the Shroud, which means that only a portion of the coated fibers that were hit by the weak energy would have been yellowed in the end, leaving the rest of the coated fibers uncolored, as well as all the non-coated fibers without exception (even those who would have been hit by enough energy), thus producing a very discontinuous distribution of colored fibers in the image area. The unpublished paper we wrote recently was intended, among other things, to propose this new alternative hypothesis.
The bottom line is this : on the contrary to what some people have seem to understand, our paper has not been written to try to prove that in nature there’s only one kind of stochastic process that exist, which is triggered by a small quantity of energy that only affect a portion of the « population » submitted to that weak energy in a visible way, but to propose that, in the context of the Shroud, this sort of weak energy process can possibly explain the formation of the Shroud image. And I’m personally more convinced than ever (mainly because of the banding effect we see on the cloth and its close relationship with the image density) that if such a stochastic process really happened inside the Shroud, this can only have been in association with a color residing only in a thin and uneven layer of carbohydrate impurities located over the linen fibers, while leaving the entire structure of these fibers free of any yellowing. That’s precisely what’s at the heart of my alternative scenario…
I hope this new comment of mine will finally help some people to understand better our work and note the potentially high value of the 3 scenarios we propose to explain the image formation (2 of them being included in our MAA paper)…
The first sentence of my previous comment should have stated with the names Fazio and Mandaglio along with their profession (nuclear physicists). I forgot to add their names there and thought it was important to write you a note about that, just in case you would ask yourself “who is he talking about?”.
Precision’s done! Have a nice reading…
Re The TS image superficial uniformity:
On January 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm, #108 comment, I wrote:
“The hair, eyebrow arch, beard and moustache images on the back and front side of the linen cloth are capillar not radiative images. In other words, they are not “superficial images” but in the thickness of the linen fabric and do completely run through the material (capillary action). They are dried fluid images. This is pretty obvious ONLY when the said areas are observed in transmitted light or from photograph taken in transmitted light (see 1988 Riggi photographs). French Shroud scholar Marcel Alonso noticed it well before me:
“L’hypothèse de la double superficialité de l’image (Fanti, Rogers, 2005) est démentie par l’image en transmission prise par Riggi en 1988, qui montre qu’elle existe bien dans l’épaisseur du tissu.” and “les images par transmission laissent voir un léger épaississement des fils, dans les mailles (pourtant lâches), confirmant la présence de l’image dans la profondeur du tissage. En effet, les fils dont le diamètre est 100 fois plus grand que les fibres n’ont pu piéger un surcroît de liquides, colloïdes et particules associées, qu’aux points de contacts entre eux. Ce seront les zones ayant retenu dans leurs mailles le plus de fluides qui apparaîtront après séchage les plus sombres (celles au contact des cheveux, moustache, barbe, sourcils…). C’est une preuve supplémentaire en faveur du principe d’image capillaire, opposé au à celui d’image radiative.”
(the above-mentioned observations are extracted from a paper entitled “Le Linceul est-il Surnaturel ?” Alonso wrote in 2005).
On February , 2012, I quoted French Shroud scientist Marcel Alonso: “The hypothesis of the double superficiality of the [face Shroud] image (Fanti, Rogers, 2005) is belied by the image in transmitted light taken by Riggi in 1988. [To the sole exception of the right side of the Shroud man’s long flowing hair], the image shows that it does exist in the thickness of the fabric (on the backside of the long linen cloth)”. In spite of image enhancement, most of the left side of the face actually does not even clearly appear on the backside of the long linen cloth. There are more than some caveats re “double superficiality”.
And on March 16, 2014 at 6:06 am I wrote:
“Alonso provides the right explanation re the image apparent non-uniformity in a few areas: “les fils dont le diamètre est 100 fois plus grand que les fibres n’ont pu piéger un surcroît de liquides, colloïdes et particules associées, qu’aux points de contacts entre eux. Ce seront les zones ayant retenu dans leurs mailles le plus de fluides qui apparaîtront, après séchage, les plus sombres (celles au contact des cheveux, moustache, barbe, sourcils…)”, which implies (my own explanation) they fit in rather neatly with tighter wrapping-up in shrouds or more cloth-to-body/body-to-cloth pressures in these most specific areas.” The image is uniformly and not randomly superficial per se.
“Reminder: in my ritualistic hypothesis, the tightly wrapped-up body would have been dried out in extra height resting on its right side (and then left side?) NOT in suspine position. Besides, it cannot either be totally ruled out the fabric had ORIGINALLY(i.e. once woven) been put in the field to dry out on one side only.”
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