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Weakened image fibers

November 15, 2014

imageA reader writes:

I was reading Colin Berry’s recent posting which makes an important claim, namely that it is impossible for the image to have been formed without heat. He reasons that the mechanical weakness of image fibers is evidence of this.

The posting, for those who would like to refer to it, is Checklist of reasons for thinking the Turin Shroud image represents a dried-on sweat imprint. Real 1st century or simulated 14th century?  The following paragraph is certainly what the reader is referring to:

It’s entirely impossible for the image to have been formed with no application of heat. I have a permanently-stained shirt from the time I helped clear an overgrown garden. There are plant saps that leave yellow stains that are absolutely permanent – which will not wash out, even with hot water and detergent. But my money’s on a thermal component. Why? Because of a little-remarked upon property of TS image fibres, namely their mechanical weakness. Why should that be, given the core of each linen fibre is predominantly tough old cellulose? That’s a possible lead I’m chasing up right at this moment.

The reader continues:

When I Googled <weakened image fibers on the Shroud of Turin> I discovered a paper by Robert Villarreal called THE ALPHA- PARTICLE IRRADIATION HYPOTHESIS: SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF THE SHROUD. He speaks of weakened fibers caused by alpha-particle irradiation. That causes heat.

I think the reader is referring to the program for the St. Louis Conference (to the best of my knowledge, the actual paper has not been published yet). Therein we read Bob Villarreal saying:

In a personal communication with Ray, he related to me that the fibers from the body image areas of the shroud seemed to be removed more easily than those from non-image areas. It was as if whatever process created the body image had in some way slightly weakened the shroud fibers at that point they became more friable. Ray was a physical and thermal chemist and not an analytical or radio chemist. If he had been the latter, he might have recognized that he had stumbled on to what caused the images on the Shroud. . . .

Okay! But I don’t think Colin Berry and Bob Villarreal are going down the same path with this. 

  1. anoxie
    November 15, 2014 at 5:42 am

    “I was reading Colin Berry’s recent posting which makes an important claim, namely that it is impossible for the image to have been formed without heat.”

    Do you think Colin Berry is really going down this path?

    He seems to be reluctant to take a definitive stand any longer for his scorch hypothesis.

  2. November 15, 2014 at 5:54 am

    “It’s entirely impossible for the image to have been formed with no application of heat. ”

    Three minutes after posting that as a comment on my own site, I spotted the typo and posted this:

    Correction: last paragraph above. “It’s NOT entirely impossible for the image to have been formed with no application of heat.”

    Without that NOT, the section that followed on plant saps that leave a permanent stain without heat would not have made sense.

    In fact, the correction makes little difference to the sense, namely that chemical imprinting, whether by scorching or external chemicals, benefits from a raising of temperature, as do all chemical reactions, or at any rate those that are under kinetic control at ordinary temperatures. Luigi Garlaschelli’s ochre ‘frottage’ has a heating step if one reads the small print, described as “artificial ageing”. Ray Rogers used 66 degrees C in his modelling of Maillard reactions with ammonia and dextrins.

    Alpha particles? Sorry, not my scene. I believe the TS was fabricated in the 14th century to be seen as if it were a sweat imprint. No, not a conventional painting, CharlesF, and probably not made using actual sweat or other fluids, but something that merely looked as it it could be a dried-on sweat deposit , a bigger version of the Veil of Veronica ‘face-cloth’ of the same alleged bio-imprinting process.

    I must now get back to my own site, in order to tackle Giulio Fanti on the views he expressed re template-scorching in that interview with Louis, having only picked up on them yesterday. I may be gone a while. Methinks Associate Professor Fanti needs to theorize less, and get hands-on experimental data first.

    • anoxie
      November 15, 2014 at 6:50 am

      ” Ray Rogers used 66 degrees C in his modelling of Maillard reactions”

      It was to quicken the reaction, not because it was thermodynamically not feasible at ambiant temperature.

      Ray Rogers theory was about a chemical reaction.

      Your theory was all about heat.

      There is a lot of material on this blog, in your postings and comments, which prove how opposed you were to my arguments, and now, you’re talking about a “chemical imprint”.

      I’m glad to hear that, but I can’t see how you can justify such a flip flop, no way, ever. It’s science, not politics.

  3. Louis
    November 15, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Good afternoon,Colin. It was nice to see your comment above, where you said you will now tackle Professor Fanti on the views he expressed in the interview he gave me. I would love to see your objections and then it will be my turn to do some tackling together with some scientist, not necessarily one in the realm of Shroud studies. If Shroud scientists are interested in joining the discussion they know where to find me.
    By the way, Professor Fanti also says he has changed his mind and in that sense he is like you and it is supposed to be good science to proceed that way. He switched from light to electric field when it comes to the image-formation process: https://www.academia.edu/8841978/Professor_Giulio_Fanti_discusses_the_controversies_in_the_realm_of_Shroud_studies

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