Marytown in Illinois Hosting Shroud of Turin Exhibit September 12-20

imageMark Shea has a sense of humor. He tells us in his blog, Mark’s Stuff, over on the Catholic Channel at Patheos:

“Funny story: The last time, Marytown hosted the Shroud Exhibit, they had me out to give a talk on Private Revelation in preparation for its arrival. Outside, their reader board said “MARK SHEA SHROUD EXHIBIT”. I felt bad raising people’s hopes like that.”

Anyway, the point of his blog posting is to let us know:

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Significant Response to the Preview of the Thermochimica Acta Editorial

… if one of the points of peer-reviewed literature is to help fine-tune the author’s thinking,
it seems a bit questionable that this editorial comes 10+ years after the original article by Rogers and the death of the author.

imageThibault Heimburger contacted the editors of the journal and has been invited to offer a response to the Thermochimica Acta editorial that is currently in “accepted for publication” status. He has agreed to do so and we can look forward to that. But that will only address some of the scientific issues with this preview article.  There are 115 comments so far in the thread Editorial in Thermochimica Acta by Bella, Garlaschelli and Samperi on Rogers’ 2005 Article and many of them take issue with other elements of the article.  What follows, taken from recent comments by Joe Marino, offers a significant response to the historical questions surrounding invisible mending.


by Joe Marino

The Middle Ages is generally considered to have been between the 5th and 15 centuries and the Early Renaissance is generally considered between the 14th and 17th centuries, so there is actually a bit of an overlap. So, I don’t think the use of “medieval” [as suggested by one reader] is a huge issue here. Regarding the invisible mending being a “pseudoscientific hypothesis,” … I would like to address several points in the authors’ editorial in addition to a previous posting countering their assertion that the invisible mending idea was based on low resolution photographs. They use the phrase “so called invisible mending.” The use of the pejorative “so called” is obviously meant to belittle the idea of invisible mending as a technique. For the validity of the technique, see for example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_mending

http://www.thefrenchreweavers.com/faq.htm

http://www.invisible-mending.com.au/

Also, if you look at 2 articles I co-authored, various people postulated that different types of repairs may have been made on the Shroud over the years (see pre-1988 entries). Those articles can be found at:http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/chronology.pdf (link to 2nd article can be found at end of aforementioned link).

I would also like to address the authors statement: ” “No one has hypothesized this before 1988 (before C14 analysis gave an ‘undesired’ date for the linen); …”

Not true. Discussing preparations for the 1986 planning meeting in Turin, Gove writes in his 1995 book “Relic, Icon or Hoax: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud” (Bristol and Philadelphia: Institute of Physics Publishing, 1996, pg. 90), “Tite felt there should be a textile expert present, if samples were to be taken, to make sure that we were getting a piece of cloth from the main body of the shroud on which the image was imprinted and not a rewoven area or a patch.”

Note that this 2 years before the 1988 dating.

The following passages about invisible mending on the Shroud are taken from the book “The Untold Story of the Holy Shroud” by Carlos Evaristo, the archivist for the Savoy family, who owned the Shroud until King Umberto died in 1983.

(pp.217-218).

According to the testimony of King Umberto II of Savoy (later recalled by friends, the exiled Monarch entertained in the 1950s, at Villa Italia, in Cascais, Portugal), oral tradition in the Savoy Royal Family confirmed that the Custodians of the Holy Shroud, from the earliest medieval period, had sporadically made copies of the Shroud,but also removed fragments from all around the outermost edges of the Burial Cloth, even as far inward as 10 centimeters and distributed these to close relatives, devotees and allies.

That a mysterious seam or pronounced crease mark is visible all along one length of the Shroud is a fact that has baffled Scientists, some of whom have gone as far as to ridiculously (?) propose that a removed section was used to bind the Shroud to the Body at the chin, hands and feet and then sewn back onto the sheet, at a later date.

What could also be probable is that this thick, long strip of the original cloth was removed at one point [and] cut up into sections for distribution in reliquaries.
Another possible scenario is that this strip was used in a transfer boiling ritual or else separated, thread by thread, so as to have been incorporated into Ex Extractum copies of the Holy Shroud.

Any one of these processes could have been carried out by the Canons guarding the Shroud at Lirey or Chambery without the consent or knowledge of whoever owned the Sacred Relic. Once carried out or the abuse discovered, the section could have ordered or rewoven, back onto the original whole or else the section in question was substituted with another piece of similar cloth.

pp. 218 & 220 (there is a picture on pg. 219)

According to King Umberto II, the pious practice of sharing Major Relics of the Holy Shroud was, according to tradition, continued by the first three Savoy Lords who possessed it, although they, unlike some of their predecessor Guardians, never purposely removed fragments from their areas with the image of the Corpus Sancti (Holy Body.)
Another fact confirmed by His Majesty was that it was traditionally affirmed, that at one point in the past, he edges of the Lenzuoli (Sheet) had become so tattered as to cause embarrassment or criticism of the Custodians, and those areas were repaired and rewoven using identical techniques, but obviously with similar, yet newer, materials containing dyes and other medieval manufacturing ingredients, in an attempt to better blend the new sections in, as best possible, with the original fabric.

In truth, the presence of medieval dyes was detected in these areas and this fact has been already pointed out by Scientists as additional proof of the inaccuracy of the 1988 Carbon 14 dating test results that placed the samples taken from these areas, as having been fabricated sometime in the middle ages.

In truth, any one of the aforementioned practices alone would also account, for not only the contamination of the fabric resulting in inaccurate Carbon 14 dating results, but also, the different types of linen, dyes, resins and fabric patches, discovered to have been present on the outermost edges of the sheet that usually held by Bishops during the exposition of the Sacred Relic to the public for veneration.

(pp. 265 & 267 (picture on pg. 266) of the Evaristo book.

The removal of all patches and of the reinforcement Holland Cloth backing of the Holy Shroud, in the year 2002, confirmed what King Umberto had stated, namely that small sections of the repaired and rewoven edges, had continually been removed from the Sacred Relic and probably as late as the second half of the 17th century. That the practice of removing small fragments and even full length or width threads from the outer edges [of] the Holy Shroud, was a family tradition only finally suppressed by Duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy, was another fact Umberto II of Savoy confirmed to Blue Army Founder and Shroud Devotee John Mathias Haffert, in the mid 1960’s.

It was the same Vittorio Amedeo II, who along with his wife, the Infanta Anna d’Orleans, personally assisted Blessed Sebastiano Valfre on June 6th, 1694, in repairing the Sacred Burial Cloth of the The Christ, shortly before transferring the Sacred Relic to the new Chapel of the Guarini. Later, it became a tradition on June 6th of each year for the Savoy Royal Family to distribute relics of the backing cloth.

It was in 1694, that in accordance to the Savoy Family tradition, some of the removed sections of thread were then woven into full size replicas of the Sindone (Shroud) for private or public veneration in Convents and Cathedrals during popular Holy Week celebrations. Unlike the meticulous repair work that had been carried out in previous centuries by religious expert weavers following the damage caused to the Shroud by fires and which left little trace of the removed sections, the intervention of the Savoy and the Blessed was aimed primarily at replacing the cloth backing of the Relic giving it added thickness and strength and also a better contrast to the image.

The last intervention by religious sisters had been considered poor by the various members of the House of Savoy since, rather than reweaving the areas nearest the outermost edges that were either missing or had frayed from manipulation and wear, they had camouflaged them with cloth coverings and patches.

The backing of black cloth added by Blessed Sebastiano Valfre was later removed byPrincess Maria Clotilde di Savoia, (1843-1911) Consort of Prince Napoleon, who substituted it for a pink silk on April 28th, 1868, on account of the backing having also become deteriorated from manipulation and removal of pieces for relics.

Note what Piero Savarino, who was scientific advisor to the Turinese Cardinal Poletto, wrote.

In a 1998 booklet, he stated that the 1988 C-14 testing might have been erroneous due to “extraneous thread left over from invisible mending‟ routinely carried out in the past on parts of the cloth in poor repair. Savarino went on to emphasize: ―…if the sample taken had been the subject of invisible mending‟ the carbon-dating results would not be reliable. What is more, the site from which the samples actually were taken does not preclude this hypothesis. (Source: Savarino, P. and Barberis, B. “Shroud, Carbon Dating and Calculus of Probabilities.” London: St. Paul‘s, 1988, pp.21-22.)

Now, it’s possible that in the original Italian, “invisible mending” might not equate specifically to the type of technique we hypothesized, but it’s another strong example of the fact that it is known that repairs have been made to the Shroud, making such a technique plausible.

The authors of the editorial conclude “The work of the late Dr. Rogers has been exploited to support a pseudoscientific hypothesis which is in no way confirmed by the reported data.”

The ascription of the word “pseudoscientific” to a clearly scientific theory again suggests a bias on the part of the authors. I agree with the last part of their last sentence that “the scientific community and the general public can only be misled by this paper,” but with application to their own paper. Rogers was a brilliant scientist who was not easily exploited and was actually one of the founders of Thermochimica Acta. He actually thought he would be able to prove me and my late wife wrong in 5 minutes, and said he was actually embarrassed to have to say we were right. His 2005 paper fully supported our claims from 2000. In addition, another paper by me and my wife was published in 2008 in a peer-reviewed journal called Chemistry Today and was titled “Discrepancies in the radiocarbon dating area of the Turin shroud (http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/benfordmarino2008.pdf)

Finally, if one of the points of peer-reviewed literature is to help fine-tune the author’s thinking, it seems a bit questionable that this editorial comes 10+ years after the original article by Rogers and the death of the author.

New YouTube Presentation: Is the Shroud a Medieval Forgery?

Here is a new slide presentation on YouTube from Third Column Ministries called The Shroud of Turin: a medieval forgery?  Published September 1, 2015, it is about one hour and fifteen minutes long.

Link to video on YouTube

A Massive Effort Called STURP

imageYesterday, Larry Getlen (pictured) reviewed John Thavis’ new book, Vatican Prophecies. (See earlier posting– Non-Fiction: The Vatican Prophecies Available September 15).

The New York Post, famous for its headlines, sought to grab reader attention with,  How the Vatican investigates miracles. They succeeded.

Getlen’s article focused on three topics in the book: relics, the Shroud of Turin and exorcism. In that order; that will keep people reading, at least until they finish their morning bagel and coffee or get to their subway stop.

I like the Post, not editorially or journalistically, mind you, but because it tells us what a large segment of New Yorkers think. New Yorkers think many things  because the paper masterfully tells them what to think. Getlen is one of the masters of making this happen.

Here is what you must know and think about the shroud – and this is just a review of a book:

The finding, that the Shroud is “a negative image,” confirmed for many its authenticity, as, people argued, “no medieval artist would have had the necessary knowledge to create such an image.”

Since then, “the cloth’s enigmatic imprint [has drawn] the attention of specialists in imaging, chemistry, physics and other fields, including radiocarbon dating.” Carbon-14 tests conducted in 1988 placed the shroud’s origins “between 1260 and 1390,” appearing to “bolster claims that the shroud was a medieval artifact.” But the tests have been criticized, as “according to several experts, the threads [that were tested] came from a repaired or contaminated area of the cloth.”

imageScientists from every imaginable field have conducted tests on the cloth to try and determine its origin.Photo: Getty Images

In the 1970s, a massive effort called STURP — The Shroud of Turin Research Project — united around 30 scientists from numerous fields, including “experts in photography, chemistry, physics and biophysics, mathematics, optics, forensic pathology,” and even “nuclear weapons research.”

An image analyzer that “created a three-dimensional relief of the shroud’s human form” confirmed for some that “the image itself contained precise spatial information, which would appear to rule out a painting or other artistic origin. The image would have to have been created while the cloth was draped over a body, even in places where the cloth had not come into direct contact with the body.”

A slew of additional tests from “every imaginable scientific angle” were conducted, from X-rays to “ultraviolet and infrared experiments” to analysis of cloth samples that had been “covered for centuries.” These tests “added an immense amount of data but also raised new questions. Essentially the team agreed that the image was not the work of an artist and was encoded with unique, three-dimensional information; but how it was produced remained a mystery.”

Except it was Sunday of Labor Day weekend and most people were not eating bagels or riding the subway. Maybe they should run it again on Tuesday.

Barrie Schwortz to Speak in Indianapolis on September 19

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We learn from the website of the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis that Barrie Schwortz will be making two presentations about the shroud on September 19:

BSchwortz  2128x2832Barrie Schwortz, one of the world’s leading experts on the Shroud of Turin, takes you behind-the- scenes to learn about the scientific investigation and history of what many Christians believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. In 1978, Schwortz served as documenting photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project, the first-ever, in-depth scientific examination of the cloth. Schwortz’s original images were used to create a replica of the Shroud now on display in our newest exhibit, National Geographic Sacred Journeys.

The presentations are free with museum admission but advance registration is required. The 11 a.m. presentation is recommended for adults and families with children, 10+. Groups of 20 or more receive a 20% discount by calling 317.334.4000.

Presentation 1

  • 11 a.m. in Lilly Theater
  • Presentation is approximately 1 hour in length and an additional 30 minutes for questions.
  • Add to Cart
  • Important Note: Museum admission is also required for this event. Add Museum Admission

SOLD OUT: Presentation 2

  • 2 p.m. in Lilly Theater
  • The 2 p.m. presentation is sold out. Please call 317-334-4000 for any questions.
  • Recommended for adults. Presentation is approximately 1.5 hours in length with a half hour question-and-answer session. Schwortz, an Orthodox Jew, began as a skeptic of the shroud, but by scientific evidence became absolutely convinced of its authenticity. In this presentation, Schwortz also shares his personal journey from skeptic to believer.

Earlier posting:  National Geographic Sacred Journeys Exhibit in Indianapolis

Editorial in Thermochimica Acta by Bella, Garlaschelli and Samperi on Rogers’ 2005 Article

with thanks to Andrea Nicolotti and Gian Marco.

imageA new article, There is no mass spectrometry evidence that the C14 sample from the Shroud of Turin comes from a “medieval invisible mending” by Marco Bella, Luigi Garlaschelli and Roberto Samperi has been accepted* for publication in Thermochimica Acta.

imageSome bullet points appear after the article, after the acknowledgments, even after the references. It’s as though having taken their best shot, the authors had to empty their gun before walking away:

  • This editorial regards a paper published on Thermochimica Acta ,425 (2005) 189.
  • The author [=Rogers] hypothesized a “medieval invisible mending” on the Shroud of Turin.
  • There is no evidence of such a “medieval invisible mending”.
  • The two mass spectra presented differ only by the presence of a contaminant.
  • When the peaks due to the contaminant are removed, the two mass spectra looks alike.

The article is behind a pay wall. If you do not have access to this journal, you can purchase a copy of the article through Science Direct for $39.95 US.

It begins:

This editorial regards a paper by the late Dr. Raymond Rogers published on Thermochimica Acta. The Shroud of Turin is a linen which has impressed a faint image of a man and some color spots (supposedly blood). A popular tradition born in the second half of the XIV century recognizes it as being the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. In 1988, three independent laboratories dated this object between 1260 and 1390 (95% confidence interval, 2 σ) by means of the C14 analysis. After the publication of these data, several theories have been proposed to explain a discrepancy with the “sought” date of the linen, which according to tradition should be around 33 AD. Among those, a popular one is the so called “invisible mending”, disclosed by S. Benford and J. Marino and based on the analysis of low resolution (JPEG format) pictures of the Shroud….

… and wraps up:

In conclusion, the unspecific qualitative chemical tests presented by Rogers are in no way confirmed by instrumental analysis (mass spectrometry). No diagnostic peak in the pyrolysis mass spectra indicates a significant difference in the two samples, besides hydrocarbon-derived contamination. Therefore, none of the presented data supports the conclusion by Rogers.

The work of the late Dr. Rogers has been exploited to support a pseudoscientific hypothesis which is in no way confirmed by the reported data. Regardless of the debate on the hypothetical authenticity of the Shroud, the scientific community and the general public can only be misled by this paper.

So it is a peer reviewed editorial, that is if I understand the “note to users” that appears on the Science Direct access page for this article:

* Note to users: Accepted manuscripts are Articles in Press that have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by the Editorial Board of this publication. They have not yet been copy edited and/or formatted in the publication house style, and may not yet have the full ScienceDirect functionality, e.g., supplementary files may still need to be added, links to references may not resolve yet etc. The text could still change before final publication.

Although accepted manuscripts do not have all bibliographic details available yet, they can already be cited using the year of online publication and the DOI, as follows: author(s), article title, Publication (year), DOI. Please consult the journal’s reference style for the exact appearance of these elements, abbreviation of journal names and use of punctuation.

When the final article is assigned to an volumes/issues of the Publication, the Article in Press version will be removed and the final version will appear in the associated published volumes/issues of the Publication. The date the article was first made available online will be carried over.

Is it really peer reviewed? Does that matter?  Those bullet points: maybe they will go away in the final editing of this editorial. 

What Do We Really Know About Volckringer Patterns?

I suspect what appears to be 3D-ish elevation is a representation of relative chemical reaction completely unassociated with spatial relationships. 

imageHugh Farey in a comment to another posting writes:

Do we in fact know anything about the Volkringer patterns, except that they exist? Research into them seems vanishingly scarce, and there are only three purported examples on the internet, of which only one actually shows the plant and its effect. It’s a fern, which makes me think the pattern could be a spore print. One of the others is too badly reproduced to be sure whether it’s actually a print or the plant itself, and the other is the sort of image that might come from a VP-8, but without any context or explanation. John de Salvo’s paper on shroud.com (“The Image Formation Process of the Shroud of Turin and Its Similarities to Volckringer Patterns”) references a paper by Volckringer himself from 1942, but omits part of the title. He calls it: “Le probleme des empreintes devant la science,” but in fact it is called: “Le Saint-Suaire de Turin: Le problème des empreintes devant la science”, and is clearly more to do with the Shroud than it is to do with these patterns. Can anybody help?

imageThere is an informative comment by Marty Benton on this site from January 2012:

I wonder if what we think are 3D reliefs prepared from Volckringer patterns are not something altogether different. I suspect what appears to be 3D-ish elevation is a representation of relative chemical reaction completely unassociated with spatial relationships. 

The veins appear higher than the blade and higher still nearer to the center rib. That would seem to be where the most lactic acid would be transferred to the paper by contact and lakes of vapor. The leaf seems really fat with an unnaturally beveled edge. That apparent bevel may result from less lactic acid reaching the paper at the edge of the leaf.

To fully assess this we need to see the facing pages from the book that held the leaf. Ideally, we need to see the leaf.  We need to know which side of the leaf is being plotted for 3D content. I imagine the facing page’s imprint might have a similar appearance of elevated veins and a fat bevel. That would not make sense.

The point is that because something appears to have 3D characteristics, it may not be a real spatial representation. I’m not saying the Shroud’s image isn’t spatial data, what you call a height-field. I’m saying, however, that we must consider other possibilities.

More Information:

The DeSalvo paper Hugh mentions can be found HERE (shroud.com) and HERE (Penn State).

There is also a presentation by John DeSalvo, Shroud of Turin Picture with a brief description on page 3:

I decided to explore this similarity in more detail.  I was hoping that by understanding how Volckringer Patterns are produced, it would give me some idea of how the Shroud body image was produced.  Using a spectrophotometer I did a color comparison between the Volckringer patterns and the Shroud body image.  Within experimental error, I showed that the Volckringer patterns were identical in color to the Shroud body image.  I than compared the Shroud and Volckringer patterns using UV Fluorescent studies.  It was shown that both the Volckringer patterns and the Shroud body image do not fluoresce under UV light.  Thus the Volckringer patterns and Shroud body image also have identical UV fluorescent characteristics.

The most startling similarity was that the Volckringer patterns could be reconstructed in 3D relief using a VP-8 analyzer, just like the Shroud body image.

There is a brief write up in Mark Antonacci’s The Resurrection of the Shroud (pages 68 and 69 readable online at Google Books)

In I 942, Dr. Jean Volkringer, a pharmacist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paris, discovered that when certain plants arc pressed between the pages of a hook, a highly detailed negative image appears on adjacent pages. He proposed this discovery as a possible explanation of what is seen on the Turin Shroud. However, such a mechanism cannot explain the Shroud image. in the first place, plants that produced such images were usually pressed in books for several decades, some for as long as a century. …

Colin Berry’s Latest and Greatest. Is it Enough?

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…

clip_image001Sometimes, you need to wait for Colin Berry to finish adding bits and pieces to his postings. When things settle down,  it is easier to report on them. Colin seems to have done so now. It is time to look at his latest and greatest technique for creating an image that may or may not be like the image on the shroud:

“It’s a distillation of some 40 months and more of virtually non-stop effort since Dec 2011 to ‘model’ the ‘enigmatic’ TS body image,” he tells us.

He goes on:

It would have been nice to use a real human subject instead of the plastic toy The technique lends itself to scaling up, and leaves the volunteer (?)  unharmed, except for a coating of vegetable  oil and plain white flour (most of that being imprinted onto linen, leaving less to be showered off).

Alas. I do not have a 4m x 1m length of linen, and even if I  did, one suspects the sourpuss contingent of sindonology would waste no time in telling me it had to be herringbone weave, centuries or millennia old, traditionally-bleached, lacking modern-day optical brighteners etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Nope. This science bod is content to model the TS characteristics, showing that no fancy gee whizz 20th/21st century technology is needed, certainly not pulses of intense uv rays  from excimer lasers or neutrons from rock-crushing tectonic activity etc.(the sort of things that could theoretically have affected a particular linen shrouds in a 1st century rock tomb we are solemnly assured).

No real argument there. I don’t know, however, if it is scalable. It seems that it would be. And I don’t know enough about chemistry or the science of images to weigh in on the issue of bleaching “etc etc etc ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”

clip_image001Let’s stick with the small scale model, and show how, step-by-step, the above image was created that, from where I’m standing, ticks an ever-growing number of boxes that says: YES – it is looking increasingly like a valid model, despite it using homely medieval technology that today’s blog-readers can confirm for themselves in less than an hour in their own homes if so inclined.  It requires nothing more than: (a) linen (I get mine from the clothes rack in charity shops, ladies’ white summer trousers especially) (b) plain white flour (c) vegetable oil (d) a hot oven (e) a bar of soap. Yes – indcredibly, insultingly some might say, that’s my DIY list for what’s needed.

Nothing insulting about any of that. It is actually intriguing in a “Bill Nye the Science Guy” sort of way.

Okay. Now you need to read: 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…

The rest of this posting will be in two instalments: first, the procedure for obtaining the above result, namely a faint, fuzzy, negative TS-like image and then, later, possibly tomorrow, the evidence from studies reported already on my other site that the image you see above meets many , possibly most, of the criteria of the TS image at both macroscopic and microscopic level.

Lots of good pictures help us understand.

[…]

3D properties? Do the faint and fuzzy imprints you see above respond to 3D rendering in software programs like ImageJ? is that too much to hope, given typicaly awestruck observations such as this one from the shroudstory site:

clip_image001[5]

 

Fact: there is nothing in the least bit "profoundly mysterious" about the 3D properties of the Shroud image, especially if it’s a contact imprint. This investigator has shown over and over again in the course of  3 years of entering a large variety of images into Image J that the 3D response of the TS, far from being ‘profounsly mysterious’ is in fact entirely predictable. What would be unusual would be for it NOT to respond to 3D rendering, given the way the software operates. Here’s an image that hopefully illustrates my point:

image

3D-rendered image of plastic toy(left) verus Shroud Scope image of TS (right). Note the embedded 2D reference (concentric circles with stepped intensity gradient) and the DEFAULT non-zero setting of z scale elevation setting (0.1)

Yes. One can enter 2D diagrams with no 3D history, like those concentric circles 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.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.

Late insertion: I’m saying there is no 3D mystique until proven otherwise. Right on cue we hear the rejoinder: "There is 3D mystique until YOU prove otherwise", adding technical details like RGB balance that were addressed previously in discussion with "OK" in Poland,.

Nope. i’m not buying into that pro-authencity attempt to shift the burden of proof. I repeat: there is NO 3D mystique until proven otherwise. The so-called "unique 3D encoding" of the TS image is pure agenda-driven moonshine.

See also this later comment from the inestimable Hugh Farey, with new 3D rendered images of this blogger’s hand both in original colour AND grayscale. Both show 3D enhancement (needless to say).  Thank you Hugh.

I said “profoundly mysterious” because I don’t know how, and nobody knows how, the 3D information was derived in the shroud image. Maybe it was Colin’s way? I don’t know. I would not have introduced the word “mystique”  as he did. Language is too tricky for that.   That is also why I don’t say the 3D data is “encoded.” 

In the shroud image we are looking at a brightness-map that seems, when smoothed, to represents elevation. It  happens to also look like a picture. Put the other way around, that is still true; it is a picture that, when smoothed, functions as a brightness-map (height-map, bump-map, etc.).

I’ve said, clearly, that I don’t think we can say with any certainty that the brightness information, the 3D information, means body-to-cloth distance. I’ve said that there are other methods of deriving that sort of information and that the information might be real or imaginary.  Regular photographs and paintings, by-the-way, can contain that information. It is wrong to say they can’t. Most don’t, though.

Colin has created an image that is also a brightness-map.  You can plot 3D images with it using ImageJ. The real question is this: Does the brightness-map correctly represent the shape of the body (the plastic soldier)? I’m not convinced it does. Or it is too crude.  We need some better pictures to work with. We need to do more in ImageJ. We need to be sure that ImageJ is being used correctly.

By-the-way, I have been impressed with the 3D imaging of Colin’s hand. So maybe Colin is onto something.  In his blog, however, he is trying to make an issue out of nothing by playing with the word mystique.

(Click on the image of the hand to see this image enlarged).

image

Carbon Dating with the Potential to Become Controversial

AND:  The Get Religion blog gets down in the trenches with how journalist cover stories
like this. Be sure to read Jim Davis.

 

imagePaul Vale, in the UK edition of the Huffington Post, tells us that the Birmingham Koran Carbon Dating Reveals Book Is Likely Older Than Prophet Muhammad:

In what could prove something of a pot hole for current readings of Islamic history, a carbon test carried out on a Koranic manuscript recently discovered in England reveals the book is likely older than Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic faith.

The test used a piece of the ancient parchment, discovered in Birmingham University Library in July, with scientists dating the tome from between 568 and 645AD.

imageIslamic scholars believe Muhammad lived between 570 and 632AD and that he founded Islam after 610AD. The first Muslim community was founded in Medina in 622AD. This means the text was likely compiled either before the Prophet’s birth or during his childhood.

“It destabilises, to put it mildly, the idea that we can know anything with certainty about how the Koran emerged — and that in turn has implications for the history of Muhammad and the Companions,” historian Tom Holland told The Times.

[…]

However, Keith Small, a researcher at the Bodleian in Oxford, urged caution as the carbon testing only used parchment rather than the ink from the book. He said: “If the dates apply to the parchment and the ink, and the dates across the entire range apply, then the Koran — or at least portions of it — predates Mohammed, and moves back the years that an Arabic literary culture is in place well into the 500s.”

Small added: “This would radically alter the edifice of Islamic tradition and the history of the rise of Islam in late Near Eastern antiquity would have to be completely revised, somehow accounting for another book of scripture coming into existence 50 to 100 years before, and then also explaining how this was co-opted into what became the entity of Islam by around AD700.”

For additional perspective, see Oldest pages of the Koran found in England may date to Mohammed’s lifetime by Mark Miller at Ancient Origins.

There are other manuscripts that may be as old as this one, the BBC says. Radiocarbon dating provides a range of years for an object being dated, and the years of this and other manuscripts overlap. But these two pages are among the oldest known surviving Koran manuscripts in existence.

Muhammad Isa Waley, a British Library expert on old manuscripts called the discovery exciting and Muslims would rejoice over it.

AND:  The GetReligion blog gets down in the trenches with how journalists cover stories like this. Be sure to read Jim Davis at GetReligion.org

How soon will it be before journalists are somehow linking this to the carbon dating of the shroud?

Non-Fiction: The Vatican Prophecies Available September 15

It looks like there are a twenty of more pages on the Shroud of Turin

imageThe Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age  by John Thavis (Author of The Vatican Diaries)

The Chapters:

      Introduction: At the Crossroads of Reason and Wonder

  1. A Piece of Holiness
  2. Mother of God
  3. The Sacred Image
  4. Full of the Devil
  5. The Miracle Trail
  6. Prophecies, End Times and Alien Saviors
    Editions at Amazon:
  • Kindle $14.99  Read with Our Free App
  • Hardcover $17.29
  • Audio CD $34.95

“The process by which these supernatural events are authenticated is expertly told by John Thavis, one of the world’s leading Vaticanologists. In fact, that a book on so secretive and complex a topic is so deeply researched, beautifully written, and artfully told is something of a small miracle itself.”—James Martin, S.J., author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Vatican Diaries, a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the Vatican investigates claims of miraculous events

Apocalyptic prophecies and miraculous apparitions are headline-grabbing events that often put the Catholic Church’s concept of “rational faith” at odds with the passion of its more zealous followers. To some, these claims teeter on the edge of absurdity. Others see them as evidence of a private connection with God. For the Vatican, the issue is much more nuanced as each supposed miraculous event could have serious theological and political consequences. In response, the Vatican has developed a highly secretive and complex evaluation system to judge the authenticity of supernatural phenomena.

Former journalist John Thavis uses his thirty years’ experience covering the Vatican to shed light on this little-known process, revealing deep internal debates on the power of religious relics, private revelations, exorcisms, and more. Enlightening and accessible to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, the book illustrates the Church’s struggle to balance the tension between traditional beliefs and contemporary skepticism.

Pre-Release Editorial Reviews:

“Thavis’s second book is a lively, far-reaching exploration of the paranormal aspects of the Catholic faith, investigating both the role that such phenomena play in the lives of parishioners and the official stance of the institutional church . . . . [The Vatican Prophecies] is an engaging introduction.”   —Kirkus Reviews

“This engaging overview of contemporary supernatural occurrences is filled with stories and case studies. Catholics and those interested in Christian history will appreciate this exploration of the efforts to balance modern rationalism with traditional devotional practices.” —Library Journal 

About the Author:

imageJohn Thavis is the prizewinning former Rome bureau chief of the Catholic News Service. He has written extensively on religious issues in Europe and the Middle East, has lectured on Vatican affairs in the United States and Europe, and has won awards for his firsthand reporting on the war in the Balkans. In addition to numerous awards for individual excellence and analytical reporting, he has received the St. Francis de Sales Award, the highest honor given by the Catholic press.  He lives in Minnesota.

Ian Wilson’s 1978 Book for a Penny

Hurry. There are only 83 copies available at this price.

 

imageimageThe Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ? Hardcover – 1978

by Ian Wilson (Author)

11 customer reviews


See all 4 formats and editions


Note: This item is only available from third-party sellers (see all offers).

One of the most baffling questions concerning the Shroud’s authenticity is how – and where – it was preserved through the centuries. Ian Wilson traces the history of the cloth from its creation almost two thousand years ago. He propsess ingeniuos solutions to the gaps in its history – explanations that link the Shroud to the Mandylion that belonged to the Emperors of Constantinople, to legends of Veronica’s Veil and the Holy Grail, as well as to the powerful Knight’s Templars of Medieval Europe. The Shroud Of Turin is a fascinating detective story that offers some intriguing answers to questions that have surrounded this frail piece of linen for centuries.

Hat tip to Joe Marino

Checking in on Stephen Jones’ Blog

imageStephen has been discussing the side strip: Sidestrip #5: The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!

< CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE >

Problem for the forgery theory. That the Shroud has almost invisible stitching in its seam that is identical to stitching found elsewhere only at the Jewish fortress of Masada, which was last occupied in AD 73, is yet another (see #1, #3 and #4) problem for the forgery theory. Since a medieval forger would be most unlikely (to put it mildly) to even know about almost invisible first century Jewish stitching; and even if he did know about it, he would be even more unlikely to go to the trouble of adding it to his forgery (what use would almost invisible stitching be to a forger?); and even if he wanted to use it, he would be most unlikely to have the high degree of skill needed to do such stitching. So again the forgery theory would need to resort to the pre-1988 fall-back position of the late leading anti-authenticist Walter McCrone (1916-2002), that "a first century cloth could have been found and used by a 14th century artist to paint the image":

"A carbon-dating test would be final if it led to a date significantly later than the early first century. A first century date, on the other hand, would remove almost all obstacles to universal acceptance of the `Shroud’ as authentic. Only the careful objective scientist might still point out that a first century cloth could have been found and used by a 14th century artist to paint the image"[18].

But, leaving aside whether that would be "objective," for anti- authenticists to claim that a medieval forger forged the Shroud’s image on a 1st century cloth would, as we saw in parts #3 and #4, mean admitting that the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud claim was wrong…

Does Stephen mean this is overwhelming – the emphasis on the word in the title of his posting is his – or that this argument, in conjunction with a gazillion other (or a few other) arguments, is overwhelming. I think he means the latter. I’m just not a big fan of piling up weak arguments one on top of the other. But then, again, that’s just me. And maybe it’s not weak.

Your thoughts?

Hey, Guardian. That’s My Job

imageLast week, The Guardian dredged up a 1988 article for us; maybe some editor thought we missed Turin Shroud leak starts unholy row. Following the lead which reads, “Scholars at Oxford University believe the linen, said to have wrapped the body of Jesus, may be a fake,” the article begins:

Representatives of the Archbishop of Turin condemned Oxford University last night for allowing news to leak out that the Turin Shroud – revered by Roman Catholics as a bloodstained relic of the crucified Christ – is a medieval forgery. They announced that the university could not possibly know.

The furore began after Dr Richard Luckett, a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday that a date of 1350 “looks likely” for the 14ft piece of linen, which bears the imprint of the face, the thorns, and wounds of Jesus’s body.

He referred to laboratories as “leaky institutions”. A fragment of the shroud is being radiocarbon-dated at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford. At Magdalene the message was that Dr Luckett was away for the weekend.

It is now twenty-seven years later, and just in case we still had questions, The Guardian included this last line with a link that reads, “Scientists and the church still disagree about the authenticity of the shroud.”

Despite the fact that the cloth was radiocarbon-dated to the 14th century in 1988, an array of theories continue to be presented to support its authenticity – including, this year, the idea from scientists at the Politecnico di Torino that an earthquake in AD 33 may have caused a release of neutrons responsible for the formation of the image.

But, according to research by British scholar and author Charles Freeman, to be published in the journal History Today, the truth is that the shroud is not only medieval, just as the radiocarbon dating suggests, but that it is likely to have been created for medieval Easter rituals – an explanation that flies in the face of what he called “intense and sometimes absurd speculation” that coalesces around it.

Doesn’t the mainstream media understand that it is the job of bloggers to dredge up old news that nobody cares about when we don’t have anything else to say?

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