To misparaphrase Dylan Thomas: Do not go gentle into that good night
but rage, rage against the dyeing of the cloth (dying of the light).
He liked it when people were willing to hypothesize and experiment. Propose any method for image formation that was based on real science, and you had his complete attention. I think, from what I read over the span of many months, Ray would have truly enjoyed Colin Berry’s latest blog posting, Is the Shroud of Turin image really "enigmatic"? See this straightforward, no-nonsense modelling exercise:
Colin begins with a bit of prefatory stage setting. In reacting to people who call the image enigmatic. He writes:
… it’s perhaps not surprising that some have read “enigmatic” to mean not just "mysterious" but “supernatural”.
Personally. this retired science bod is quite happy to entertain the possibility of certain phenomena being supernatural, but only if non-supernatural explanations have been carefully considered and rigorously excluded.. Thus I’m minded to think that the "Big Bang" was the work of a supernatural entity – though that has not prevented me proposing a non-supernatural explanation (see margin notes) that uses conventional physics.
Rigorous filtering out of non-supernatural explanations is sadly not the case where the Turin Shroud is concerned - there being little real science and a surfeit of pseudo-science aka tosh.. One has only to peruse the headlines that have appeared from scientists ("scientists"?) in recent years. Try googling turin shroud to find entries like this one which as it happens was what sparked my own (renewed) interest in the Shroud, after lying dormant since the 1988/9 radiocarbon dating.
Which sets us up for a fascinating shift or drift in thinking:
What if the image layer were a faint scorch, or, better still me(currently)thinks Joseph Accetta’s DYE imprinting (now this blogger’s preferred hypothesis in place of a previous fixation with thermal imprinting aka scorching.)
Actually, going beyond Accetta…
Addendum: as stated here and elsewhere, this blogger now aligns himself with Joseph Accetta in thinking that the TS image was probably dyed onto the linen, rather than heat-scorched. (I would not have rated dyeing per se very highly, but for the fact that dyeing onto linen is difficult without use of a mordant, that the most common mordant – alum – is highly acidic, and that sulphuric acid from slow alum hydrolysis may explain the faint ghost image we see today (so I’ve gone beyond Dr. Accetta somewhat). So how does printed fabric respond to the conversions outlined above?
The posting, on Colin’s blog, started March 8th, has been growing. There is this from additional material added just yesterday:
Note: either of the two hydroxides can easily rearrange to make the hydrated oxides, like, er. McCrone’s iron oxide, accommodated within a "painted image" scenario. (Did he ever consider dyeing, as distinct from painting?).
Speaking of which – dyeing that is - the so-called "dye-rot" that degrades some ancient printed textiles has been attributed to iron-based mordants, especially those that use iron sulphates, as distinct from iron chlorides (sulphuric acid being non-volatile, unlike hydrochloric).
Heaven help us:
Note the current focus on dyeing, with initially soluble pigments, as distinct from painting with insoluble ones. Hat tip again to Joseph Accetta, assuming the problem of reverse-side (aka obverse-side) action can be resolved. If it can’t, this blogger may need to revert to instant thermal scorching….
Note:The image shown above is accidental. It is of a drop cloth used below a plastic grid while dyeing other pieces of cloth as discussed in Lisa Kerpoe’s blog having nothing whatsoever to do with the shroud or the topic at hand.