Feature Story in National Geographic

Looming above all other issues is what physicist Paolo Di Lazzaro calls “the question of questions”: how the image was produced, regardless of its age.

imageThe Shroud of Turin, as featured on the home page of National Geographic. Note, however, Nat Geo rotates principle articles so if you click on it you may not see this page as it is portrayed here.

The MUST READ article’s title is  Why Shroud of Turin’s Secrets Continue to Elude Science.

The lead reads: “As the venerated relic goes on public exhibition, its origin remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma.”

The author, Frank Viviano, has written a fair and balanced story. A couple samples:

clip_image001The sum result is a standoff, with researchers unable to dismiss the shroud entirely as a forgery, or prove that it is authentic. “It is unlikely science will provide a full solution to the many riddles posed by the shroud,” Italian physicist Paolo Di Lazzaro, a leading expert on the phenomenon, told National Geographic. “A leap of faith over questions without clear answers is necessary—either the ‘faith’ of skeptics, or the faith of believers.”


Looming above all other issues is what physicist Paolo Di Lazzaro calls “the question of questions”: how the image was produced, regardless of its age. Every scientific attempt to replicate it in a lab has failed. Its precise hue is highly unusual, and the color’s penetration into the fabric is extremely thin, less than 0.7 micrometers (0.000028 inches), one-thirtieth the diameter of an individual fiber in a single 200-fiber linen thread.

Di Lazzaro and his colleagues at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) conducted five years of experiments, using state-of-the-art excimer lasers to train short bursts of ultraviolet light on raw linen, in an effort to simulate the image’s coloration. The ENEA team, which published its findings in 2011, came tantalizingly close to approximating the image’s distinctive hue on a few square centimeters of fabric. But they were unable to match all the physical and chemical characteristics of the shroud image. Nor could they reproduce a whole human figure.

5 thoughts on “Feature Story in National Geographic”

  1. Supporting Dr. Ray Rogers’ statement:

    “The crystal structure of the flax fiber of the Shroud shows the effect of aging, but it
    has never been heated enough to change the structure. It has never suffered chemically significant radiation with either protons or neutrons. No type of radiation that could produce either color in the linen fibers or change in the C14 content (radiocarbon age) could go unnoticed. All radiation has some kind of an effect on organic materials. This proves that the image color could not have been produced by thermal or radiation-induced dehydration of the cellulose. Image formation proceeds at normal temperatures in the absence of energetic radiation of any kind.”

  2. On another thread Colin jokingly said I was indulging in hagiography. I told him why it was not so and also why NG, and myself before them, were impressed with Dr.Di Lazzaro’s research. Much in the same way, I was told that there a cult-like devotion to Rogers in some circles in the US, in which I also do not take part. It is also not clear where exactly Ray Rogers obtained his doctorate. If this information is received I will refer to him as “Dr” from now onwards.

    Once again, Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro never said that his experiment demonstrated that the Shroud image was produced with radiation. It was I who wrote “radiation-like” because laser was used.

    We must keep one thing in mind: If it IS Jesus no amount of science will demonstrate what EXACTLY happened. The disciples who were with Jesus when power left his body INVOLUNTARILY to cure the woman with the haemorrhage in a SPLIT SECOND, that is, INSTANTANEOUSLY, did not ask questions. They saw, and believed, because the woman told them what had happened.

    So, if it IS Jesus we, and among us twenty-first century sceptics, are asking questions, or the “question of questions”, that will probably never be answered. The introduction to the interview mentions how the dormant divine power inside the dead JESUS may have been activated by the Father at the INSTANT of the Resurrection. God is not subject to time, we humans are.

    There is no indication of radiation, but neither are there signs of ingredients involved in a Maillard reaction, impurities, light, normal temperature, high temperature…

    NG is a first-class magazine, many people came to know about the Shroud after reading their first article on the relic. They of course have journalists trained in science. If they chose to highlight Dr.Paolo Di Lazzaro’s experiment, obviously after much research, including the experiments made by Ray Rogers, they knew what they were doing.

  3. I like how they label the “Pocker holes” as Probably before 1200. I assume this is in reference to the Pray Codex.

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