… taking place in the comments to Oy vey! We’ve got a problem?
- Click into Oy vey! We’ve got a problem?
- Scroll down to daveb of wellington on August 29 at 11:44 pm.
- Any comments you have should go there, not here. This is just a pointer.
Having said all this, I do doubt Colin can get good, shroud-like 3D from his flour-power model.
I am willing to be proven wrong.
A reader from Baltimore writes:
If you look at the illustration “3D-rendered image of plastic toy” on Colin Berry’s other blog you can see that he is incorrectly using ImageJ and as a consequence drawing false conclusions. He is using the image he is plotting as the texture. In effect he is plotting on a plot. That is a big, big NO NO. That he is doing so is obvious when you look at dark areas on the arms and legs that rise to the level of adjacent bright areas. It is also obvious because of the color we see. The best texture to use is #808080 for all pixels. Some perspective would also be helpful.
Is it a no-no? I wonder.
The image, shown below, can be found at Is a high energy laser beam really needed to model the Turin Shroud? Maybe those Italians should have tried pizza ingredients first, and a hot oven…:
Yes, I must say I agree that there is a problem here. I see it and I’ve been thinking about it for nearly a day now. I still need to do some experimenting to understand this better. But I do see that plotting without loading a texture and allowing the software to use the image itself as the texture (which seems to be the default) will lead to erroneous interpretations.
Colin follows the image in his blog with this paragraph.
Yes. one can enter 2D diagrams with no 3D history, like those concentric circls above, and they show a comparable 3D response (top left) to that of the model image OR the TS. Why is that? Look at the z scale next to the red arrow. It is on its default MINIMUM setting of 0.1. The software sets that non-zero default setting, meaning that ANY image one enters that has any kind of intensity gradient, simple stepped ones included, produce a 3D response.
What in the world is Colin saying that is not fully obvious? Back in November of 2013, I noted that:
Ray Rogers used to point out that a drop of ink on a filter paper would look like a mountain when plotted the same way (e.g. VP-8). Colin Berry is right that scorch marks and holes on the shroud produce 3D images; the scorches, obviously, are not spatial information.
Colin continues that paragraph of his, writing:
The latter is entirely artefactual unless one has evidence to the contrary. This investigator knows of no evidence to suggest that the so-called "3D properties" of the TS image are any different from those of contact imprints generally.
Colin may be right, at least to some degree. If he will post the base images (or send them to me) I will plot them with a neutral texture. If he has a paint program he can create his own; just create a rectangle the size of the image with a middle gray background, say RGB 128/128/128.
I’m looking at the following image I plotted with ImageJ and wonder if I did it right. Did I use a proper neutral texture or did I use the image as the texture? Look at the color. I probably made the same mistake. See Teaser of the Day (#3): Why many state that the Shroud is a 3D image.
I just installed Windows 10 and ImageJ won’t work for me. So be patient as I figure out what is wrong.
Having said all this, however, I do doubt Colin can get good, shroud-like 3D from his flour-power model. I am willing to be proven wrong.
If scientists are gradually losing their position as high priests of society,
generations educated in a system governed by the scientific method still carry the
burden of doubting Thomas. Although faith does not rest on scientific evidence, unbelievers
continue to clamor "Show me," "Prove it."
MUST READ: Republished, yesterday, August 29, 2015, in the English edition of the Russian Orthodox internet portal, Pravosvie Ru, The Shroud of Turin: A Mystery Across the Ages warrants your full attention:
On this day, the Church celebrates the icon of the Savior "Made Without Hands" -the prototype of which is believed to be an image of Jesus Christ’s holy face, left on a cloth used to cover His face at burial after the crucifixion. An exhaustively researched and highly interesting article by Fr. Alexy Young, Nun Michaila, and Mary Mansur was published a number of years ago in the periodical, "Orthodox America" on the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Napkin. We present it today in the spirit of the present feast.
Science, although not incompatible with faith when properly understood, has more often served to reduce the wonders of nature to molecular conglomerates than to awaken man to the infinite wisdom and power of God as reflected in His creation. Because it acts to unlock the mysteries of nature, science has long been cast in the role of a protagonist by those seeking to destroy the stronghold of faith. Historian Lewis Spitz writes:
"The scientific revolution, which made its first giant strides in the 17th century, has won such a total victory through its apparent domination of nature that the Western mind has virtually capitulated to its truth."
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1)
If scientists are gradually losing their position as high priests of society, generations educated in a system governed by the scientific method still carry the burden of doubting Thomas. Although faith does not rest on scientific evidence, unbelievers continue to clamor "Show me," "Prove it." Ultimately the case rests on the question of Christ’s Resurrection. While there is not, and can never be, a scientific test for the resurrection of Christ, skeptics have used the lack of material evidence in their favor. Is it not providential that today, in this age of science’s hegemony, they are being challenged by a mysterious piece of cloth, the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ?
To say that the Shroud is a challenge to hard-line materialists is not to say that the debate over its authenticity is neatly divided between believers and unbelievers. Not at all….
Read the full article, which leads to this interesting Conclusion:
As Orthodox Christians, do we need the relic of the Lord’s Shroud? As far as the fullness of the Faith, "given once and for all to the saints," is concerned, we do not. The image on the Shroud adds nothing doctrinal to what has already been revealed; neither does it take anything away. Had it not survived Apostolic times, as some think, our faith in Christ and His Church, the Ark of Salvation, would be the same. Nor do we seek after signs and wonders to confirm our faith in Christ. On the other hand, the Shroud provides a visual document of something that the Evangelists describe in only a few terse words: "They crucified Him,"
In the image on the Shroud there unfolds before our very eyes the story, the process of indescribable suffering, those physiological processes which took place in the human Body of Christ. This is all precisely documented on the Shroud, attesting to our Lord’s humanity and at the same time revealing His divine power, for He arose as God, rising in such a way as to leav e all the evidence imprinted upon the Shroud and miraculously undisturbed,., containing a providential meaning which is not being revealed."
The late Archimandrite Constantine (Zaitsev), an eminent Church writer who wrote these words, was so impressed by the powerful testimony of the Turin Shroud that he urged the widespread dissemination of this "discovery," which he said "lies with the conscience of each faithful Christian soul who becomes acquainted with it."  What precisely is the value of the testimony offered by the Shroud?
All in all it is a startling medical documentary of what was described so briefly in the Gospels. Dr. John Heller biophysicist
The Russian bishop-saint, Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783)–as so many spiritual directors–was alarmed at the cold-hearted insensitivity of people, at the callousness, indifference, and wordliness of the average soul, joined to complete love of self. In our own day, most pastors would add to this list the soul-killing sin of self-righteousness and "zeal not according to knowledge," which stems from the Luciferian sin of pride.
As a spiritual remedy, the Saint urged people to "keep in your house a picture of the passion of Christ, look at it often and with reverence …. the whole deepest content of the Gospel is portrayed in the passion of Christ and incites us to imitation." To imitation of what?
St. Tikhon observed that "God descends to the humble as waters flow down from the hills into the valleys." And it was this awesome humility of the Lord on the Cross that St. Tikhon wished his spiritual children to imitate. But how to find humility? In union with all Orthodox Fathers, St. Tikhon taught that each individual must seek to know himself as he really is, without self-deception. Seeing thus his own wickedness, he must then consider "the suffering of Christ, the magnitude of whose love and suffering surpasses our understanding." Christ’s example of humble obedience "even unto death" inspired this Saint to instruct his spiritual children to "remember often, especially during the night, the suffering of Christ. It will kindle in you love for the Sufferer; this love will preserve you from sin. Meditate upon His Passion …. The suffering Christ is like a saving bock from which we learn…repentance, faith, devotion to God, love of our neighbor, humility, meekness, patience, detachment from worldly vanities …" 
What is it, then, to follow Christ? To do good and to suffer for the sake of the will of God… to endure all, looking upon Christ Who suffered St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
St. Tikhon was not here introducing some novelty into Orthodox piety or theology, It must be made perfectly clear that he was not suggesting the use of imagination–a common element in Western spirituality–in order to create dangerous emotions that lead to "prelest" or spiritual deception. St. Tikhon understood that the Son of God suffered not just a death such as might come to any man, but a terrifying emptying of His divinity joined to an unimaginable physical, mental, and spiritual agony that we cannot comprehend. But we can, even with sinful eyes, gaze upon it, as those who put the Lord to death stood by and watched and some, like the blessed Centurion, even confessed Christ. The image on the Shroud vividly tells us, in ways that words often cannot, what unutterable suffering was endured for our sake, and the high price with which cur souls were ransomed from eternal death.
And then there is the cry in a scientific age, “My Lord and My God!”:
Together with this universal significance which applies to all Christians at all times, the Shroud may also be said to be uniquely relevant to our 20th century, in which science has had such a powerful voice. Some believe that this image was encoded on the fibers of the cloth like a time capsule intended specifically for our materialistic age, when only the tools of modern science could begin to decode or unlock its secrets, when belief in God would be so weak or non-existent that even faith in science would testify to "the things of God."
There is a poster, plastered on walls in the Soviet Union, which shows a smiling astronaut flying through space. The caption reads: "There is no God," For individuals raised under the forced domination of ‘scientific-atheism," the inability of scientists to disprove the Shroud does not go unnoticed. And there is reason to believe that the scientific evidence in favor of the Shroud’s authenticity has been instrumental in opening doors to faith behind the Iron Curtain. (A report on the Shroud, written by a scientist in the Soviet Union, is said to be circulating there in Samizdat.)
We, too, in the free world, have been greatly influenced by the scientific-materialist outlook. And it seems that now, at a time which many believe to be the 11th hour, the suffering yet serene face looking at us from the Shroud confronts us with the REALITY of Jesus Christ. Can it be that in this age of diminishing faith, when even believers are crying out "Lord, help Thou my unbelief," the Lord in His mercy has condescended to reveal Himself to men in a special way, that seeing they might believe and exclaim with Thomas: "My Lord and my God!"
note the epsilon on the forehead
Glimpses of the shroud at about the 0:50 and 1:18 marks in this trailer for the upcoming epic movie of the first forty days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of an skeptical Roman Centurion charged by Pontius Pilate to investigate rumors of a risen messiah and find the missing body of Jesus in order to prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.
Directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Tom Felton, Joseph Fiennes, Cliff Curtis, Peter Firth, Risen is scheduled for release January 22, 2016 by Sony Pictures Releasing. TRAILER LINK (Hat tip to David Goulet)
Hat tip to David Goulet
Anthony Faiola, writing in the Washington Post, tells us that Pope Francis embraces the mystical side of the Catholic Church:
To many, the first Latin American pope is a reformer, a man determined to lead the Catholic Church into a new age of enlightenment.Yet as Pope Francis prepares to make his first official trip to the United States, his papacy is also proving to be one of apparent contradictions. Perhaps the biggest: A pope who has become the darling of intellectuals, even atheists, is also fully embracing some of the most fervent forms of worship within the Catholic Church.
Far more than his predecessor, Francis has thrust himself into the contentious world of so-called popular devotions — including the mystical celebration of holy relics, such as the blood, bones and clothing of saints, as well as the adoration of the Virgin Mary through processions and other rites. By doing so, Vatican watchers say the pope is effectively endorsing a more ardent and mysterious brand of Catholicism that is popularly practiced — especially among the poor — in his native Latin America.
Critics, however, say the pope may be flirting with superstition. Also citing his constant mention of the devil and explicit backing of exorcisms, some say he risks undercutting his image as a 21st century moral leader in tune with the times.
“The danger is that popular devotion becomes all too important, that we seek to elevate ourselves by touching a body part or a cloth touched by a saint,” said Vito Mancuso, a Bologna, Italy-based theologian and author. “We would be moving backwards, almost to idolatry.”
The incident in Naples, where Francis caused a stir with the blood of Saint Januarius, marked only one in a long list of recent papal devotions to relics and other mysterious artifacts. In June, for instance, the pope “venerated” the Shroud of Turin, praying before the cloth believed by some to be the burial garment of Jesus Christ despite disputed tests that have carbon dated it to centuries after the crucifixion.
The pope made no official claim about the shroud’s authenticity. But his personal charity has sent at least two busloads of homeless Romans to visit the shroud, and the pope additionally taped a special video message celebrating it.
“Let us listen to what it wants to silently tell us, across death itself,” the pope says in the message. “The sole and ultimate word of God reaches us through the sacred shroud.”
On the other hand, we considered, Does Pope Francis Believe the Shroud is Real?
What is mystical? Idolatry? Superstition? And all this by degree?
More coverage of Barrie Schwortz at the Jalsa Salana UK convention
Barrie writes on the STERA Facebook page:
I am just back from England where I attended the 2015 Jalsa Salana UK convention as a guest of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. This was the first time I had ever spoken at a Muslim event and it far exceeded my expectations. I was welcomed with love and respect and treated as a brother. I plan to write a detailed article about the event for our next update but wanted to give you some info in advance. Click the photo below for a World Religion News article about the event. Here is a link to the brief comments I made on the closing day to more than 10,000 people! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_VrJS1kn7c
And that probably wraps it up until Barrie does a promised summary on the next shroud.com update.
If you are relatively new to this blog, you need to know this: When Dr. Colin Berry first entered the fray of shroud research he rather wildly characterized other researchers in offensive ways; remember, three years ago, Of Infrared Herrings and Mickey Mouse Science: Berry Criticizing Di Lazzaro?
Colin has since then cooled his rhetoric, but not completely; witness the recent back and forth of comments with Barrie Schwortz in Oy vey! We’ve got a problem?
Knowing this explains the quoted characterizations in Paolo Di Lazzaro’s response to a question by Colin. I raised it in this blog and pointed to Colin’s blog in Have we all been looking in the wrong place?
Dear Dan and All,
thank you for pointing out this piece, which describes amateurish attempts.
You may reassure Mr (sic) Berry that this "bunch of jokers" at Enea which is doing "MIckey Mouse science" has looked at the right place, recognizing the main photo-chemical reactions and chromophores possibly involved in the laser-coloration mechanisms, as detailed in several peer reviewed papers, notably in [Superficial and Shroud-like coloration of linen by short laser pulses in the vacuum ultraviolet*]
And… no, sorry, none of the "deductions" of Mr Berry reported in your blog are justified by his out-of-focus images shown in your blog. It is evident Mr. Berry is not trained in microscope imaging. Our students can do a better work.
Why did I insert sic in the above response? It is Dr., not Mr. Dr. Colin Berry describes himself in one of his blogs thus:
Colin Berry, aka sciencebod, is a retired PhD researcher/teacher/academic who has worked in industry, medical schools, schools, food and biomedical research (mainly in the UK, but also in W.Africa and the United States). He’s best known for his work on RESISTANT STARCH, recently described as "the trendiest form of dietary fibre". See also his specialist Shroud of Turin blog on
Dr. Paolo Di Lazzaro, a senior researcher at the ENEA Research Centre of Frascati, has posted an English language Curriculum Vitae at Academia.edu
* I inserted the title into Paolo’s email and left the URL as he had it.