“I am the ‘onliest’ one who can go, and I’m scared."

Also, on shroud.com, read A PROFILE IN COURAGE by The Reverend Albert R. Dreisbach, Jr.
(A Speech delivered in Atlanta, Georgia during Black History Week)


Kim was mentioned yesterday. It’s time, I think, to dust off and repeat the dedication page of this blog:

The Reverend Albert R. ‘Kim’ Dreisbach, Jr.

April 27, 1934 – April 29, 2006

image

Kim died on a Saturday. The next day, at the Episcopal Church I attend[ed] in New York, 750 miles away from Kim’s home in Atlanta, the Eucharist was dedicated to Father Kim Dreisbach.

The Gospel …[that day] was Luke’s telling of the disciples encountering Jesus on the Road to Emmaus (24:13-35). It was fitting. I remember how Kim and I had discussed this passage on numerous occasions. He was certain that an understanding of this passage and the story of Thomas in the Upper Room were important to understanding the Shroud. I didn’t always agree with his interpretations but I cherished the opportunity to think these things through and argue with him.

"Read this story carefully," Kim said. "Jesus is telling the disciples on the Road to Emmaus to not merely believe what they perceive. The disciples had the facts right," he stressed, "but their eyes needed to be opened to the ‘truth’ revealed in the facts."

Kim, as a priest, scholar and friend, worked to do that for many of us: to open our eyes to truth. He did so with humor, scholarship, imagination, and the love of Christ.

I learned that you could telephone Kim anytime. Well — anytime, unless a Yankee game was on television, radio or the internet. Well — also, as I once learned, it was not advisable to call him if the Yankees had just lost a close game. But other than those times, Kim was always available and ready for discussion. And, invariably, he would follow up by sending long emails marked up with yellow highlighting, with copious quotations from numerous scholars, and with his own comments boldly typed in red.

Yesterday, by the time Kim got to the Atlanta airport, the Yankees had just clobbered the Blue Jays, 17-6. He certainly knew that and was probably telling every flight attendant, ticket agent and skycap all about the game. Kim was like that. He loved talking to everyday strangers about good news.

I remember sitting in a restaurant with him in Atlanta. Barrie and Russ probably remember, as well. There were about a dozen of us Shroudies at one long table. It wasn’t long before Kim was talking to perfect strangers at nearby tables, telling them about the Shroud. They were fascinated by him and what he had to say, just as we have been.

Kim loved jokes. And Kim definitely had strong opinions. I imagine a scene at the gates of heaven where three Shroudies have just arrived, Kim being one of them. They are in a waiting room, awaiting an admissions interview with St. Peter. The first one is ushered in. He remains for about an hour and then returns. The others turn to him and ask him what happened.

"St. Peter asked me to explain the Shroud of Turin to him," he said. "I tried. Then St. Peter explained it to me. I can’t believe how wrong I was."

The second Shroudie is invited in. She, too, is gone for about an hour. When she returns she tells the same story about how wrong she had been about the Shroud.

Then Kim is ushered in. An hour passes, then two, then three, four. Finally, after five hours, St. Peter comes out to the waiting room and sits down. "I just met with Kim," he says. "I can’t believe how wrong I was."

+ From the Book of Common Prayer that Kim so loved: "O God, the King of saints, we praise and magnify thy holy Name for thy servant "Kim" who has finished his course in thy faith and fear; for the blessed Virgin Mary; for the holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs; and for all other thy righteous servants, known to us and unknown; and we beseech thee that, encouraged by their fellowship, we also may be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; through the merits of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Congratulations, Barrie Schwortz

imageAs he tells us on Facebook:

Last weekend while I was lecturing in Indiana, our front page counter broke the 5 million mark. I was wondering who out there might have been the one to see it reach that milestone when, to my surprise, I received the below frame grab from our good friend Rudi Berwanger in Germany. Thanks Rudi, for sharing that moment with us! In case you missed it, you might also want to read the article I posted last year titled “About That Counter…” at http://www.shroud.com/late14.htm#counter. (Note that the counter registers only those viewers who enter the website via the front page, so it only represents about 35% of our total actual visitors).

Founded by Barrie, shroud.com has had a long and important history as a primary source of information on the shroud since 1976. It is a go to publisher of shroud related papers and web pages. If you haven’t done so lately, visit the menu page and review the comprehensive General and In-Depth tables of contents. 

The Shroud of Canterbury

imageLouis, in a comment, links to Raiders of the Lost Codex: Scholars Piece Together Ancient Bible by Matthias Schulz appearing in Spiegel Online International.

He then writes:

A bit off-track but worth reading.

What happens if the Turin Shroud is dated to the 1st century? Who will be its owner? Pope Francis, the Di Savoia royal family of Italy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Istanbul (Constantinople), the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Syrian Orthodox, Chaldean, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian patriarchs of Jerusalem…. or the Saint James Vicariate in Jerusalem (Hebrew Speaking Catholics, under the Jewish-born South African Jesuit David Neuhaus) successors of Saint James, first bishop of Jerusalem, and a cousin of Jesus?

The monks at the Greek Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery, at the foot of Mount Sinai Egypt, are now saying that Constantin von Tischendorf stole the pages from the Codex Sinaiticus, and many of these pages are scattered in different places. HRH Prince Charles is the President of the Saint Catherine’s Foundation.

Tischendorff has been called an “adventurer” and “thief”, he had a doctorate in philosophy and was a very good New Testament scholar.

Actually, based on the The Treaty of Brétigny, signed on 8 May 1360, the Shroud of Turin belongs to Queen Elizabeth II of England.  How do you not see that?

More 3D Discussion

The questions Hugh Farey raised yesterday about Ray Downing’s 3D work in a comment to The VP8 Cinderella Question reminded me of a previous posting of mine about Petrus  Soon’s 3D work. I decided to reprint it below. But first read The VP8 Cinderella Question and the comment Hugh made September 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

You might also find It is really, really time to rethink what we think about 3D useful before reading the following reposting from 2012.


— Published November 18, 2012 —

I certainly have real reservations about Petrus Soons’ 3D work. Any comments now?

imageimageYesterday afternoon, someone calling himself GonzoII posted a message at the Free Republic message board. It was the Abstract from Petrus Soons’ website that reads:

This website summarizes work connected with digitizing Shroud photographs taken by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931, enhancing the digitized images to improve details, translating the enhanced images “gray scale data into depth data”, generating a sequence of up to 625 images of each of these, and combining these images with a Holoprinter to produce holograms (3D images) of the Shroud. It also summarizes my study of these holograms and discovery of heretofore unseen details, which confirm many previous findings and reveal some suprises.

(Excerpt) Read more at shroud3d.com

Several comments followed; “Gave me chills! I believe!”, gives you the idea.

There is nothing new here. But it is a subject well worth revisiting. Here is what I posted just over two years ago. Not one person commented at the time. Maybe I was just too wordy. Maybe I just said what nobody wanted to hear. Maybe . . . maybe. Any comments now?

(October 10, 2010 posting follows):

The pastor of a large parish in New Orleans wrote to me by email:

I think this new 3D image is the most convincing scientific evidence yet for arguing that the shroud is authentic.”

imageI strongly disagree. The pastor is referring to the red-cyan anaglyph image of the Shroud that you can see only with red and cyan 3D glasses. Personally, I feel that this is a work of art, an artist’s impression of what Jesus may have looked like, expressed in 3D. It doesn’t prove anything any more than the animated 3D movie, “Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus”  proves that horses can fly. (Have I changed my mind since myfirst posting about the site? Yes.)

Here is what the pastor wrote:

The red/cyan anaglyph of the face from the Shroud of Turin at the website shroud3d.com is startling. Regrettably, the size of the image is reduced on the website. Fortunately it is done with HTML so you can grab the bigger sized jpeg and save it on your computer. Do so right away before they reduce the size on the server.Here is the link:

Note: I have replaced the pastor’s long link with a TinyURL. You can see a bigger image (800 by 921 rather than the web page size set to 484 by 545)  just by using the following link. Do save a copy of the image on your computer and buy some inexpensive 3D glasses. Read on:

http://tinyurl.com/245d6h2

It is, of course, pointless to save this image unless you have red/cyan 3D glasses. The shroud3d website does have stereoscopic images for those who have the proper viewing equipment. It also has a short video showing slow and slight rotation of the image. But these are poor substitutions for looking at an anaglyph with 3D glasses. The anaglyph is fantastic. It will knock your socks off.

imageI took the bigger image and inserted it into a PowerPoint presentation. It looks great on an eight foot screen. Now all I have to do is buy 3D glasses for an upcoming talk at my church. I found some paper ones for $25.00 per hundred. I also had a poster of the anaglyph jpeg printed at Staples. It works great, too.

I think this new 3D image is the most convincing scientific evidence yet for arguing that the shroud is authentic.

No! The anaglyph may not be very scientific, at all. And that is a major concern because the impression one gets from the website and probably most places this image is displayed is that it is scientific. It may be, but if so, how so.

imageI am not at all convinced that the data found in the Shroud’s image supports the anaglyph on the website. I’m not convinced that adjustments that were made to the images (there seem to be many) are scientifically warranted. If this is so, if I am right, then the final product, the anaglyph at shroud3d.com must be thought of only as a work of art. Nothing more!

Red and cyan 3D glasses that I ordered from Amazon.com ($4.70) arrived earlier in the week. I have since examined the anaglyph for hours. I was glad to learn from the pastor — one of this blog’s readers — that the full size image was available and I have studied it imageon a high definition 55 inch monitor. My first reaction was not unlike our friend above. Really, do order some 3D glasses at Amazon and prepare to be amazed.

My second reaction was that there was something wrong.

Bernardo Galmarini, “the 3D expert that produced the conversion from 2D to 3D,” writes on the shroud3d site:

I thought at first, that in this more scientific conversion, the hidden information in the Shroud (3D information in the gray-scale), would be a nuisance or obstacle to produce a human representation of the face, and that I would have to struggle continuously against this. Strangely enough, this hidden scientific information in the Shroud became the key and the basis for this work, reducing my artistic work to only softening the “holes” and deformities (caused surely by the passing of time) and the adapting to what this scientific version commands you to do: filling in and normalizing the “holes” or “dead areas” in the hidden information of the linen. For example: the areas without information in the forehead have been corrected following the surrounding gray-scale with coherent information and with a normal human forehead in mind. This process was helped by the fact, that the central zone of the forehead and the bony structure of the orbits contain very coherent information and that of course was taken as a guideline.

That statement lacks needed clarity. There are certainly holes and deformities. Why is not clear in most cases. It seems completely unjustified to speculate that these are caused by the passing of time. Without knowing how the image was formed, without knowing much about how the shroud was stored or displayed over many centuries, we shouldn’t make such guesses.

bandinginfaceExactly what are the holes and deformities? They have not been detailed on the website. The bloodstains certainly are a problem and to make adjustments for these is perhaps warranted. But what about other deformities? How is the problem of banding addressed? Banding, a variegated background pattern to the cloth, perhaps the result of how the thread of the cloth was bleached and having nothing to do with the passing of time, is certainly the single biggest deformity that exists. It gets peculiar treatment in this new 3D work. The left side of the face (our right) has been partially retouched to minimize the effect. The other side of the face is shaped as though there was no banding but the banding remains. Pictured here is an estimate of the banding in the area of the face.

At the bottom of the beard and the lower areas of the hair, darker areas that are not the result of banding are strikingly evident. These relatively dark areas don’t recede towards the background as expected for grayscale plotting. (You can’t see this without 3D glasses. Don’t even try.) What is the rationale for this obviously apparent artistic adjustment? Moreover, hair above the forehead pompadours frontward without grayscale tones to support it. This hair and facial hair treatment seems artistic.

The entire head and shoulders seem to be completely detached from the background. You can, with 3D glasses on, move your own head ever so slightly and see detached movement. (Again, you can’t see this without 3D glasses.) Galmarini speaks of “hidden scientific information,” presumably but not explicitly the grayscale. I can’t find any data in support of this phenomenon. It seems as though an artificial outline has been introduced around the human form. There does not seem to be any such outline on the Shroud. In fact, researchers, over the years, have noted this lack of outline because it is something that an artist, had an artist created the Shroud, would have certainly included. Interestingly, the areas of the lower neck and upper shoulders, though darker than the background, don’t recede into the background and don’t show detached movement. Most amazingly, the lower part of a prominent water stain above the face is now worn in the hair like a miniature yarmulke while the upper part of the stain adorns the background. This, to my way of thinking, strongly suggests the use of false outlines. What other reason can there be other than to enhance the 3D effect?

The most surprising thing is that the grayscale tones that to the untrained eye look like highlights and shadows, but that in fact become the basis for plotting three-dimensionality, remain in place in the plotted image. If you plot a three-dimensional object from the grayscale density you should have something that looks like a stone statue. Whatever highlights and shadows seem to exist in any resulting computerized virtual-reality image should only be from artificially introduced light placed at a calculated angle and distance in the virtual world. This is what the VP8 Analyzer does and what other software packages such as POV-Ray do. But in the anaglyph in question, it looks as though the original image was stretched like a thin film over the calculated shape. Original highlights, shadows and even herringbone twill patterns are there.

I’m willing to be convinced that I am wrong, that the anaglyph in question is scientific. I would actually like this. If this were so we would have something that is truly amazing. Clarity is needed, however. Specifics are required. I would like to see how much of this conversion to 3D is reproducible in a scientific sense and how much is "only softening the ‘holes’ and deformities."

In order to claim that the 3D images on this site are scientific the steps and procedures must be reproducible by others, at least in theory. Documentation is needed.

  1. We should know the software or algorithm used to plot the image including any variables or settings used.
  2. The terminology “hidden scientific information” should be clarified. It is essential to understand how plotting software uses this data.
  3. Expose higher resolution images for examination if the work was done in higher resolution. While this image may be 800 pixels wide, the resolution is no better than 72 ppi. Ordinary books carry pictures at four times the number of pixels per inch.
  4. We should be able to see, in anaglyph form for comparison, the unadjusted, scientifically plotted part of the project so that we can judge for ourselves just how much of the final product is by way of adjustment.
  5. All adjustments made should be explained and justified.

It bothers me to think that these images will be used, as the pastor suggests, in presentations to show the 3D characteristics of the Shroud. These images are certainly being displayed in churches, in exhibits and on the internet without the qualification that this is art and not science. If that is so, it is most unfortunate.

On the other hand, if these images are truly scientific, then the unexplained screams out to be explained.

Don’t get me wrong. There is 3D data in the Shroud’s images. It is the most important quality for knowing that these are not images formed by reflected light as a painter would envision or a camera would capture a human form. The 3D data is a quality that must be accounted for in any hypothesis attempting to explain how the images were formed, be it miraculously, naturally, by fakery or even as honest art. Indeed, this quality, treated scientifically without various forms of electronic manipulation, sooner or later, may suggest how the images were formed.

The VP8 Cinderella Question

In my opinion, it is time to move on.  The VP8 moment was a truly historic moment, like when Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen placed his hand between a cathode ray tube and a screen covered with barium-platinum cyanide and saw the bones of his fingers. We don’t do X-rays that way any more. There is a lot of 3D investigation work that can be done with modern tools, such as ImageJ, and many excellent images of the shroud.

imageA reader asks:

The question has never been answered. Did the glass slipper fit Cinderella’s foot because it was the right size or because Cinderella’s fairy godmother had magical powers?

I have some questions about the VP-8 Image Analyzer. What are all those dials on the front of the unit?  Is there an operating manual?

What settings were used in creating the 3-D image of the shroud?

How was the image data manipulated within the VP-8 or its camera including electronic low or high pass filters, Gaussian filters, softening lens filters, an out-of-focus lens, etc.? Are there any control images such as calibrated gray-scales, cross-hair fine lines, dot patterns, intended to show lighting, camera angle and lens focus?  It is essential that control images be made with exactly the same VP-8 settings, lighting, camera angle and distance, focus and lens aperture.

Was the surface of the Shroud picture gloss or matte?  Was the lighting adjusted to avoid hotspots, etc.? Here again control images are important.

Has the VP-8 been used with other Shroud photographs since 1976? If so, can we see these along with documentation?

The problem with the Cinderella story is not that the slipper question was not answered. It was never asked.

For additional information, here is an excellent presentation, VP8 Image Analyzer & Shroud of Turin, in PDF format at the SEAM site.

I also refer you to an unnamed page at shroud.com written by Barrie Schwortz. It has some information. It refers to a gain control but doesn’t mention any other controls.

On May 1, 1997, I was fortunate to spend some time in North Carolina with my friend Kevin Moran, retired Senior Technology Specialist from Eastman Kodak’s Estek Products Division and a Shroud researcher since 1978. Kevin owns one of the two functioning original VP-8 units and was kind enough to welcome me into his home and spend the next 14 straight hours working with me to videotape "new" VP-8 images. Actually, the real thanks should go to his dear wife Anne, who put up with the two of us working until 4:00am!

I’d love to see the video tape.

This is also a Questions and Answers paper by Deacon Pete Schumacher, a VP- Engineer. Perhaps he can answer the reader’s questions. However, in my opinion, it is time to move on.  The VP8 moment was a truly historic moment, like when Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen placed his hand between a cathode ray tube and a screen covered with barium-platinum cyanide and saw the bones of his fingers. We don’t do X-rays that way any more. There is a lot of 3D investigation work that can be done with modern tools, such as ImageJ, and many excellent images of the shroud.

Everything We Know About the Shroud?

imageAlan, a young 17 year-old reader, asks:

Would it be fair to say that your blog calls into question everything we know about the Shroud of Turin?

Well, there is a frontal image and a backside image of a man on the cloth.  I don’t think we can question that. Other than that, perhaps so.

However, rather than say, “calls into question,” which in popular usage seems to express doubt, I prefer to think that the blog seeks to reexamine our understanding of much that we know or think we know about the shroud.  Hopefully, then, each of us can better weigh each item of evidence before us by asking ourselves how valid it is, does it favor authenticity or the other way around, and how significant is it in the overall scheme of authenticity? 

At this time, I don’t believe enough evidence is sufficiently sound or that we know enough about how to evaluate what we have to be able to arrive at a definitive conclusion about the shroud’s authenticity. That is why I say that I think that the shroud is probably authentic. I may never know otherwise, at least not in this lifetime.

Facebook: Barrie Schwortz on Indianapolis

He reports on Facebook:

Last Saturday I gave two sold-out presentations at the truly amazing Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and got to see their beautiful National Geographic Sacred Journey’s Exhibit in person. The museum curators expanded the basic exhibit and added a lifesize replica of the Shroud, which you can see on display in the photo below. The exhibit runs until February 2016 and is definitely worth seeing. I’ll include a full report in our next website update. (See the September 3rd posting below for links). Photo ©2015 Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Other coverage in this blog includes:

Russ Breault at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Next Week

Free and open to the public

image

Recent Interview with Russ Breault

Here is an interview of Russ Breault by Simon Brown. It was published September 15, 2015. It is about 51 minutes long.

Another Overwhelming Evidence Argument?

a wide loom, which existed in the Roman Period but not in the Middle Ages

imageStephen Jones has just about wrapped up one of his drawn out, serialized postings (he is nine tenths of the way done, he tells us) that are part of his overwhelming evidence drumbeat. Perhaps I should have waited a couple more days for him to finish the posting. But he was drifting away from the main thrust of his argument. Because he had moved from discussing the cloth’s selvedge into a rehash of his outlandish and obsessive conspiracy theory that the carbon dating results for the Shroud of Turin were manipulated by a computer hacker who was probably working for the then Soviet KGB, I concluded that his posting was finished. His posting is out there on his blog and finished as far as I was concerned.

The subject of the post is that the selvedge is overwhelming evidence that the Turin Shroud is authentic. His conclusion:

Problem for the forgery theory. This is yet another part of the problem for the forgery theory, that the Shroud is not medieval (see #1,#3, #4, #5). As we saw above, the two selvedges running down the lengthwise borders of the Shroud prove beyond reasonable doubt that: 1) and the main body of the Shroud and the sidestrip were evidently cut lengthwise from a larger cloth and then joined to form a composite cloth which became the Shroud, with the combined dimensions of 8 x 2 Assyrian standard cubits (see also Dimensions #3); 2) the cloth that the Shroud and sidestrip were cut from had evidently been woven on a wide loom, which existed in the Roman Period but not in the Middle Ages; 3) the sophisticated weaving and tailoring of the Shroud points to it having been manufactured in a textile `factory‘ which are known from Roman period Egypt and Syria but not from the Middle Ages; and 4)the unusual stitching, binding and finishing of the selvedges is, like the stitching of the seam joining the sidestrip to the main body of the Shroud (see Sidestrip #5), known only from the first century Jewish fortress of Masada.

So the shroud could not possibly be medieval?  But aren’t 1, 2, 3 and 4 debatable?

Press Release: Another Book Award for Follow the Light

Please note that this is a press release for an award. It is not a book release announcement. This is a second award. An earlier award was announced in a posting last year at about this time: 1st Place Book Award for Follow the Light, The Shroud’s Revelations. The book was first announced in this blog in early 2013. The book is available at Amazon in
hardcover, paperback and Kindle.


imageFor Immediate Release:  September 18, 2015

Reader’s Favorite recognizes “Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations”  By T. C. Newman, in its 2015 international book award contest.

The 2015 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest- featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries.

Readers’ Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also very proud to be fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

In addition to reviewing for some of the biggest names in the literary industry, as well as the first time independent author, they host a respected award contest which features entries from new authors to NYT best-sellers, as well as celebrities like Jim Carrey and Henry Winkler.

“Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that "Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations" by T. C. Newman is a Honorable Mention in the Christian – Non-Fiction category in our 2015 International Book Award Contest.”

"Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations" First published, February 11, 2013 by Outskirts Press. Is a fascinating account of the writer’s path to solve a mystery. It is an in depth study, self-motivated and discovered through exploration. It is scientifically sound based on a solid understanding of light and energy.

T. C. Newman spent over 30 years studying the Shroud image to develop a better understanding of the Shroud of Turin. She is a self taught artist who’s dedicated diligence  led to a better understanding of the Shroud’s image.

Learn more at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/follow-the-light

http://www.outskirtspress.com/followthelight

Available worldwide on book retailer websites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Kindle addition available at Amazon.com

"Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations"  First Place Winner, CIPA EVVY Book Awards, held in Denver, CO, August 23, 2014

Outskirts Press, Best Book of the Year Finalist, 2013.

T. C. Newman

"Follow the Light, the Shroud’s Revelations"

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/follow-the-light

386-965-9554

followtheshroudslight@gmail.com 

Emanuela Marinelli Review of Andrea Nicolotti’s “Legends”

imageEmanuela Marinelli reviews Andrea Nicolotti’s  Sindone. Storia e leggende di una reliquia controversa, over at the Collegamento pro Sindone website titled Against the Shroud. But with mixed cards.

Historian Andrea Nicolotti expects to make a clean sweep of all the «Iegends» that came out around the Sacred Linen of Turin: a thorough lie that is to be unmasked once and for all using the weapons of historic research. It is a pity that among those weapons there should not be some things that, on the contrary, Nicolotti uses very much: sarcasm and contempt towards [anyone] who does not think in the same way he does (the reviled «Shroud scholars»), ignored sources and opposite sign research, rash incursions in distant fields, at the science ones. In short, the classical «thesis book», obviously flattered by the major newspapers, that a well- known Shroud scholar read for «Storia in Rete»

imageimage

Guest Posting on the Thermochimica Acta Editorial

O.K., a frequent participant in this forum, writes:


Bella, Garlaschelli & Samperi editorial exposed

imageIn the beginning, I want to say that this response to the editorial of Bella, Garlaschelli & Samperi editorial in Thermochimica Acta (TCA, freely available until 30th October 2015) is not focused about mass spectrometry, pyrolysis, nor any of the purely scientific issues regarding it. Those issues will be addressed in much more comprehensive response to TCA, being prepared by Thibault Heimburger. It is not about whether Rogers was right or wrong in his paper. Nor it is not about authenticity of the Shroud. It is mainly about style (and the ethics) presented in that editorial, which is enough to discredit it as a scientific publication, and prove it to be actually a manipulation of the reader. This response is based purely on the text of that editorial, Rogers article, and Marco Bella comments in the thread Editorial in Thermochimica Acta by Bella, Garlaschelli and Samperi on Rogers’ 2005 Article on https://shroudstory.com/.

One fundamental rule: in scientific publications the text must be as precise as possible. No vague, or ambiguous terms.

Having that in mind, let’s look at the title of the editorial:

There is no mass spectrometry evidence that the C14 sample from the Shroud of Turin comes from a “medieval invisible mending”

Why not simply:

There is no evidence that the C14 sample from the Shroud of Turin comes from a “medieval invisible mending” ?

Why did they need to insert those two bolded words?

Because, as we will see, the two bolded words change the meaning of the title diametrically.

Nevertheless, Marco Bella wrote in a comment (September 8, 2015 at 2:48 am):

Dear Tristan,

You might be right that the word “medieval” is not fully appropriate in the title. It might give the impression of not ruling out the possibility that the mending has been executed at another time, while there is actually no evidence of whatsoever mending. […] Since they first used this term to describe their theory, I feel it is correct to keep it, even if there is no evidence at all to support this pseudoscientific hypothesis and the term might be not fully appropriate. -my emphasis.

So no evidence, or no mass spectrometry evidence? Because the two phrases mean two entirely different things!

Rogers wrote in the abstract of his paper:

Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud. -my emphasis.

And also on pg. 193 (this can be treated as a sort of conclusions of that paper):

The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms proves that the material from the radiocarbon area of the shroud is significantly different from that of the main cloth. The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud.-my emphasis.

While Rogers based his reasoning on combination of observations, data and measurements, in contrast Bella, Garlaschelli & Samperi concentrate only on mass spectrometry (which was not the only, nor even principal method Rogers used)- According to the Author, however, the key evidence to support his thesis is the analysis of two pyrolysis spectra(pg. 170 of Editorial ) dismissing all other evidence as the unspecific qualitative chemical tests presented by Rogers (pg. 171). In general the editorial is full of insinuations, weasel phrases, and derogatory terms -extremely bad style for scientific publication. But it lacks a very key element. Rogers wrote The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms

NOWHERE IN THE EDITORIAL THERE IS A WORD COTTON!

Therefore writing There is no mass spectrometry evidence, instead of no evidence is misleading people -especially coupled with concluding remark Therefore, none of the presented data supports the conclusion by Rogers. As we have seen, the authors did not analyze nor address fully Rogers claims. Writing There is no mass spectrometry evidence is de facto admitting that there is some other evidence for invisible mending -of which even the authors in their apparent desire to debunk Rogers had apparently forgotten.

The word “cotton” is the SMOKING GUN that the editorial of Bella, Garlaschelli & Samperi is at least a manipulation of the reader.

Objections that the cotton issue will be addressed elsewhere? Not allowed: Marco Bella himself wrote in a comment (September 7, 2015 at 12:16 pm):

When evaluating a scientific paper, the analysis must be limited to what is actually written or referenced in the paper. The “ideas” of the author written somewhere else (specifically, a book which did not pass any peer-review) are of no significance for our editorial. I just focus on the reported data in Rogers’ TA paper This is how science works.

So be it -with regards to Bella as well!

The main question for Bella et al., given all what Rogers wrote, and what Bella et. al wrote (and nothing else) –is there any evidence for invisible mending? YES OR NO?

This editorial is not only below any scientific, but moreover below any ethical standards -and as such, it should have been not allowed for publication.

Faint Images: The Case of the Shroud of Arquata

imageOver at Academia.edu, Paolo Di Lazzarro has posted an uncorrected proof of a paper, Non invasive analyses of low-contrast images on ancient textiles: the case of the shroud of Arquata by Paolo Di Lazzaro, Massimiliano Guarneri, Daniele Murra, Valeria Spizzichino, Alessandro Danielis, Arianna Mencattini, Veronica Piraccini and Mauro Missori. The paper is to be published late this year in in the Journal of Cultural Heritage

Here is the abstract:

We present the results of the first in-depth measurements of the linen cloth of the shroud of Arquata, a precious copy of the Shroud of Turin, which dates back to 1653. The measurements aimed at finding the nature of the faint and low-contrast body impressions on the linen cloth, which are not produced by drawings or paintings as in the other copies of the Shroud of Turin. In general, the optical analysis and the imaging of low-contrast stains on ancient textile is a complex task, due to the irregular surface and the influence of spectrum, position and uniformity of the illuminating source on colour accuracy and rendition, A correct evaluation requires a multidisciplinary approach. We used noninvasive technologies. including imaging topological radar, laser induced fluorescence, absolute diffused reflectance and absorption spectra, which were previously used to study frescoes, paintings, antique papers, but were never exploited on ancient textiles. The combined results of our measurements and data elaboration allowed identifying the origins of the body impressions. of the stains simulating blood and of the other marks embedded on the linen cloth. Our results can be used to plan the proper long-seem conservation of the linen cloth and of marks on it.

Holy Winding Sheet Video Available

imageYou may recall a posting, Promotion for The Holy Winding Sheet: Exploring the Shroud of Turin from June 21, this year. You can now order the DVD from the EWTN Religious Catalog. Here is the description:

HOLY WINDING SHEET: EXPLORING THE SHROUD OF TURIN

Parker Dow, as part of his senior thesis at a St. Louis high school, chose to investigate the Shroud of Turin over a 6-month period. His research focused on that of five leading experts in the field, who all concluded that the Shroud was indeed the burial cloth of Our Lord. This fascinating documentary is a contemporary look at a sacred mystery, 2,000 years in the making. 1 disc / 1 hr . (CC)

Price: $10.00
Item #: HDHWS

The Chemist Rogers and Plastic Bags

clip_image001Following the recent publication, There is no mass spectrometry evidence that the C14 sample from the Shroud of Turin comes from a “medieval invisible mending”  in Thermochimica Acta, co-author Marco Bella posted Sindone, il chimico, la fede e la scienza in the blog space of Il Fatto Quotidiano. It is in Italian. Fortunately, Marco has provided an English version as a PDF file.  It’s called, The Shroud of Turin, the chemist, the Faith and the Science.  It wraps up this way:

Therefore, it appears that Rogers was aware about the presence of a contaminant which would give a mass spectra quite similar (identical?) to the one actually observed for his mass spectra of Raes sample. Despite that, he did not mention these foreign peaks due to the contamination in his discussion of the spectra. There is no need to explain that plastic bags were not widely used around the Middle Age, and that if there are peaks coming from that material in a spectra these can only be due to modern contamination.

Mass spectrometry is widely used today in the identification of pharmaceuticals, drugs, food additives, toxins. Ironically, even the C14 analysis is based on mass spectrometry. What would happen if we started to interpret mass spectra in a completely wrong manner, e.g. in the similar way as in the Rogers paper? Here there are some examples: a drug dealer could not be condemned, food contaminated with high level of pesticides could be sold, an athlete putting his health at risk with doping could not be stopped, a lot of medicine with a toxic impurity could be given to patients.

There is no ‘innocuous pseudoscience”. Any pseudoscience is damaging, since it alters the perception of the real world and it is deeply non-educative. It might cause serious consequences, especially when health issue are involved. To believe in the pseudoscience of the Shroud has nothing to do with Faith, and especially believers should get offended versus people exploiting either their Faith or the human weakness of the chemist Rogers.

You will want to read this and think about it.

Doubting the Pollen Evidence

“… data concerning pollen grains should not be used in Shroud research.”
but on the other hand, “… we must not be too hasty to dismiss it altogether”

clip_image001We have discussed the pollen many times in this blog*.  The subject came up again recently in some comments to the posting, New YouTube Presentation: Is the Shroud a Medieval Forgery? In the discussion, Hugh Farey (pictured) makes reference to an article he wrote, Problems with Pollen, for the British Society for the Turin Shroud Newletter 79.

First to the blog comments. A paper from the Valencia conference, The question of pollen grains on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo, by Emanuela Marinelli, came up in the discussion. Hugh responded:

Professor Marinelli’s paper is an an excellent review of the evidence, but does not comment or evaluate it very thoroughly. She does have the advantage of Max Frei’s articles in Italian, which seem to have been more comprehensive than his account in Shroud Spectrum International, but I do not think they clarify the case.

To review a little of what Frei is quoted as having said:

“The tapes are put in contact with a light pressure, and, due to their stickiness, when they are detached, they remove all the microtraces without damaging or altering the support in any way.” — If Frei changed his tactics between 1973 and 1978, when he applied the tapes with such force the STuRP team were horrified, then there should be a big difference between the amount of debris on them. If a light pressure was all that was needed in 1973, why did he change his modus operandi in 1978?

“The advantage of this method, widely used in criminology, is that – once the tape is folded on itself – loss of material or secondary contamination are completely excluded.” — Fine, but he didn’t fold the tapes in on themselves; he stuck them to microscope slides, as in the photos at http://llanoestacado.org/freeinquiry//skeptic/shroud/as/schafersman.html.

“In subsequent analyses of dust samples it was possible to find and classify a large number of pollen grains which, properly treated, have allowed the precise determination of the family, genus and species of the plant itself.” — It is not true that pollen is classifiable at species level even today, and was even less so 40 years ago.

“Each identification result was checked on herbarium material and in botanical gardens worldwide renowned for their collections, as well as documented in photomicrographic surveys.” — I’m afraid that without proper documentation I simply don’t believe this. In the absence of adequate comparison material Frei went to places he thought were relevant and collected his own. Whether he made a micrographical survey is open to doubt.

And so on.

Antero de Frias Moreira had commented. So Hugh replied:

Antero’s last comment reads “… Professors Danin and Baruch who confirmed many of Frei’s taxonomical pollen classification at least at genus level.”

Really? Prof. Danin has changed his mind about the validity of any of Frei’s findings.. In 1998 he wrote (http://www.shroud.com/danin2.htm):

“Dr. Uri Baruch, palynologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority who made his M.SC. and Ph.D. dissertations on the flora of Israel, analyzed most of Frei’s 1973 sticky tape pollen specimens and ten of the twenty-five 1978 sticky tapes. He examined 165 pollen grains, of which 45 (27.3%) were Gundelia tournefortii.”

But in 2011, he wrote (http://flora.org.il/en/books/plant-stories-2/chapter-o/useful_plants_06/):

image“The sample we used in our previous publications is the grain presented on the left side of Fig. 15.2.2. [a single ‘Shroud’ pollen previously identified as Gundelia tournefortii]. At first sight one can say that it has “thorns” similar to those on the right side of Fig. 15.2.2. [a group of modern pollen identified as Gundelia tournefortii]. However, looking more thoroughly, one can see that the “thorns” of the right photograph are more pointed and denser compared to the “thorns” in the left photograph. The right photograph is of grains taken from a Gundelia tournefortii flowers. It is not the same as the grain on the left.”

and

“Prof. Litt concluded that none of the pollen grains he saw could be named at a species level. Hence, all the conclusions drawn from previous palynological investigations of Dr. Frei’s material should be suspended until a new collection of pollen grains can be carried out and the grains thus obtained can be studied with modern equipment and by an expert of pollen of this area.”

and finally

“Since writing [Prof. Litt’s] conclusions in 2001 no pollen grains have been collected and investigated as he suggested, so the data concerning pollen grains should not be used in Shroud research.”

[…]

Hugh’s article warrants your full attention. His conclusion is a good place to start as long as you go back to the top and read the entire report:

So, what are we to make of Max Frei’s pollen identification, and the conclusions he drew from it. I think the question must remain open. In spite of all the secrecy and confusion there remain a few grains of pollen from some exclusively wind-blown Middle Eastern trees that are difficult to explain except that they fell on the Shroud while it was in Israel. Perhaps, if Thomas Litt’s analysis is ever published, we will discover that the entire assemblage has been over-optimistically interpreted, but if not, we must not be too hasty to dismiss it altogether.

To see all the discussion of pollen in this blog, explore these searches:

New Barrie Schwortz Podcast

NOTE:  Links have been updated do to a change from Catholic Phoenix

Barrie writes on his STERA Facebook page:

Here is a link to a recent podcast I did with Doug Connolly of Catholic Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. It runs about 55 minutes and covers some issues I rarely talk about publicly. You might find it interesting.

 

image

New Angle on the Supernatural?

imageJohn Thavis, former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service, author of The Vatican Diaries and the upcoming The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age. (September 15) has penned an interesting article for Religion News Services. The new book has considerable material about the shroud. This article,  With Pope Francis, Catholic Church takes a new angle on the supernatural (COMMENTARY) also mentions the shroud:

At times, Francis seems to be redirecting attention from the miraculous to the more urgent, real-life demands of Christianity. Praying in June before the Shroud of Turin, which many believe to be the burial cloth of the crucified Christ, the pope avoided any mention of its much-debated authenticity. Instead, he said the image should inspire Christians to help all those who suffer or are persecuted.

Free Link to Thermochimica Acta Editorial Until October 30

image Marco Bella has kindly provided me with a free link to the final paper, There is no mass spectrometry evidence that the C14 sample from the Shroud of Turin comes from a “medieval invisible mending” 


<< http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Rh8f9EscFnpL >>

(Please Read Guest User Guidelines)

Based on the following in an email to Marco from ScienceDirect …

… You are also welcome to email the link to your co-authors and colleagues, or post the link on your own homepage, Facebook, Google+, Twitter or other social media profile, to tell your network about your new publication.  Anyone who clicks on the link until October 30, 2015, will be taken to the final version of your article on ScienceDirect for free. No sign up or registration is needed – just click and read!

As an author, you may use your article for a wide range of scholarly, non-commercial purposes, and share and post your article online in a variety of ways….

… I am posting that link. My interpretation of that email is that I may do so, ethically and legally.

Thank you, Marco.

Note:  Please direct any comments to Editorial in Thermochimica Acta by Bella, Garlaschelli and Samperi on Rogers’ 2005 Article or Significant Response to the Preview of the Thermochimica Acta Editorial

Two Shroud of Turin Presentations in Skokie on September 20

Also see previous posting, Russ Breault’s Shroud Encounter in Chicago September 19

Press Release: (Click on Posters for Larger View)

imageimageThe Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc. will be presenting two unique presentations at St. Lambert Parish located at 8148 Karlov Ave in Skokie, IL on Sunday, September 20th at 2:00 PM.  A free will offering is requested to cover expenses.St

The first presentation is called:  The Day the Shroud Foiled Hitler which documents the seven years from 1939 to 1946 when the Shroud was secretly taken out of Turin to keep it away from Adolph Hitler. 

Hitler was obsessed with finding religious artifacts with the belief they would give him supernatural power in his bid for world conquest.  In 1938, Hitler visited Italy and his trip included Turin. His henchmen began asking questions about the King’s prized relic, The Shroud of Turin.  When Hitler invaded Poland the next year, the sacred cloth was secretly taken to a monastery south of Rome.  In 1943, the Nazis came looking for it, first in Turin and then later at the monastery. 

Russ Breault documents this chapter of history and how Hitler first obtained the “Spear of Destiny” kept in Austria.  He also searched for the Holy Grail but to no avail.  What drove his obsession?  This intriguing new big screen presentation tells the story. 

The second presentation is called:  Seven Secrets of the Sacred Shroud and will look at seven compelling theological-apologetic reasons why the Shroud is most likely the authentic burial cloth of Jesus. 

Both presentations are a production of the Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc. and will be presented by international expert Russ Breault.

Mr. Breault has been featured in several national documentaries seen on CBS, History Channel and Discovery.  He was interviewed this year for Good Morning America to discuss the latest research.  He has presented at numerous colleges and universities including Duke, West Point, Johns Hopkins, Penn State and many others. See ShroudEncounter.com for more info.

The Shroud was largely dismissed in 1988 when three carbon dating labs indicated a medieval origin. However chemical research published in a peer reviewed scientific journal in 2005 showed that the single sample cut from the outside corner edge may not have been part of the original Shroud material. In violation of the sampling protocol, only one sample was used for dating and was cut from the most handled area of the cloth, an area that should have been avoided. The sample may have been part of a section that was repaired sometime during the Middle Ages. Many scientists now believe the carbon dating result is inconclusive and should no longer be considered valid.

Adding more doubt to the carbon dating tests, new chemical and mechanical tests published in 2013 by Italian scientists with Padua University indicate a date range of 280 BC to 220 AD. 

The mystery continues. National Geographic called it "One of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times." 

Russ Breault’s Shroud Encounter in Chicago September 19

The following poster has all the details for an upcoming fundraiser for Our Lady of Victory Catholic High School in Chicago. CLICK HERE for more information from the school’s website. Click on the calendar entry for Shroud Encounter.  (Also see the next posting in this blog)

image