Updated since posting: Try Battle of the Chemists. This is a download of the Power Point.
In the past two days there have been some comments about Adler, Heller and McCrone in the posting, It’s the Curmudgeon in Me.
Here is a link to a PPT presentation Russ Breault did for the American Chemical Society many years ago. It compares McCrone’s findings and methodology with that of Heller and Adler.
Note: With Windows 10 I can only view the presentation with Google Chrome. Microsoft Edge fails to format correctly. I have not tried any other browsers.
Here is the Table of Contents:
- The Shroud of Turin
- Battle of the Chemists - Whose science is better?
- The Chemistry Controversy
- Adler and Heller Summarized
- Incidental Debris
- Microscopic Characteristics
- More on Iron Oxide
- Organic Pigments?
- The Body Image
- Similar chemistry to a light scorch
- Blood Images
- Control Samples
- Blood Chemistry
- Red Particles
- Iron Particles
- Why Iron Oxide?
- Random Particles
- Last Word on McCrone
“It compares McCrone’s findings and methodology with that of Heller and Adler.”
No it doesn’t.
It gives a masterly summary of Heller and Adler’s work, findings and conclusions. It barely mentions McCrone, gives no indication whatever of his methodology and only the barest summary of his findings. It is emphatically not a comparison. It is a curt dismissal. As such, it does not demonstrate where McCrone went wrong, which would have been helpful, and demonstrates an unscientific partiality.
For instance, McCrone examined 10 more slides than Heller and Adler, and found red ochre adhering to fibres on 18 of them, all those which corresponded to image or blood areas, and none on non-image areas. He illustrates his findings on page 105 of ‘Judgment Day for the Turin Shroud.’ This was the foundation of his ‘painting’ hypothesis.
Well, did he or didn’t he? Are the photos falsified fabrications? Are all those red particles not iron oxide at all? If they are related to the retting procedure, they would be found on non-image as well as image fibres, and if they are related to the blood, they would be found on blood areas but not image areas.
McCrone may have been completely wrong, and he was certainly somewhat abrasive, but simply to ignore his work does not enhance the credibility of authenticist commenters.
I suspect that perhaps Heller, Adler and other scientists who had studied the Shroud, came to a conclusion that McCrone’s work lacked credibility because he only ever relied on his overly self-confident knowledge of microscopy, seemingly shunning other more recent methods of analysis such as spectrography. In one reported interview when asked why he thought that red ochre was present, he fundamentally attributed the conclusion to his own experience of microscopy, virtually saying “Because I said so”. I don’t believe that that’s the way science is meant to work.
Hugh, you are right but it’s only a Power Point presentation.
Yes, the foundation of McCrone’s “painting” hypothesis is based and only based on the particles.
This is is main error.
The problem of the Shroud image is NOT a question of particles.
MC himself recognized that the color of the image is mainly due to the yellow fibers.
I believe that he should enhance
the technical aspects (see also:
the meaning of spectroscopy in
Analytical Chemistry!) in these slides.
See, for example, some possible
and useful words about the use
of SPMs controls or of Raman spectroscopy
techniques, etc. …
Here as reference, the article:
“Surface-enhanced Raman scattering for
identification of organic pigments and dyes
in works of art and cultural heritage material”
Kui Chen, Marco Leona, Tuan Vo-Dinh
Here the Abstract:
>Purpose – Identification and characterization
of organic pigments and dyes used in works
of art and cultural heritage material such
as prints, drawings, manuscripts, paintings,
and textiles can provide important information
for dating, authentication, and conservation
treatment of these objects and studying
art history in general.
>Applications of surface-enhanced
Raman scattering (SERS) for this
purpose have recently attracted
increasing attention of both academic
scientists and museum researchers.
>This paper aims to review the latest
development involving the emerging
applications of SERS for the analysis
of organic pigments and dyes used
in works of art and cultural heritage material.
>Design/methodology/approach – First,
the importance of organic pigments and
dyes in the studies of works of art and
cultural heritage material and the
challenges in their identification and
characterization are briefly summarized.
>This is followed by a discussion on
sampling considerations in the context
of art and archaeology.
>Then the fundamental principle of SERS,
SERS instrumentation and different types
of SERS substrates are reviewed.
>Finally, selected examples of SERS
applications to the identification of
organic pigments and dyes, including the
analysis of a couple of samples of artistic
and archaeological interest, are
presented and discussed.
>Findings – The last few years
have witnessed the emergence
of SERS as a non-destructive or
micro-destructive technique for
the characterization of organic
pigments and dyes found in artistic
and archaeological objects.
>Spectroscopic and microscopic
measurements using SERS have
provided some novel information
and answers to a wide variety of
>However, SERS application to the
field of art and archaeology is still
in the fledging stage of development
and requires closer collaboration
between academic scientists and
>But the range of possible
applications is broad.
>Future trends point to a
strong need for the development of
portable instruments for field applications.
>Originality/value – By compiling
this review, the authors hope
to direct more attention toward
SERS and bring together the
expertise in the scientific, museum
and art community to further
explore the possibilities of SERS
in rapid and direct identification
of pigments and dyes under field conditions.
— — —
Here I repeat the invitation:
Why do not you contact Dr. Marco Leona,
[The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York !]
who is an expert in this field?
Here what I have just found,
surfing the Web:
>McCrone Associates has a
Renishaw inVia Raman system
coupled to a Leica microscope
and equipped with 514 nm, 633 nm
and 785 nm excitation lasers,
edge filters with a cutoff at about
100 cm-1, and mapping capabilities.
The system is operated using
Renishaw WiRE software and
GRAMS is available for spectral analysis.
Unfortunately the resolution
does not seem to be really
very great for [extremely exact] analyses
about the Shroud (as we instead
would need to be… if I am right in my claim):
>…The relatively small spatial resolution provided
by the visible laser (about 1 micrometer) allows
us to identify contaminants and inclusions
in situ in many cases. …
Here, as “useful” generic reference
(= “Technical Bibliography”), the book:
Raman Spectroscopy Applied to Earth Sciences
and Cultural Heritage
J. Dubessy, M.-C. Caumon , F. Rull
The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 20 Nov 2012 – 500 pages
>Spectroscopic methods such as
Raman are used to investigate the structure
and dynamics of matter.
>They are essential for the study of
the different types of mineral or organic
materials produced at the Earths surface
>As a result of technological improvements in gratings, detectors, filters and personal computers in the last decade, many micro-Raman spectrometers have become plug-and-play instruments, very easy to use and available at a lower cost than the early Raman microprobes.
>Thus, many laboratories in Earth Sciences
and Cultural Heritage are equipped with
these new spectrometers.
>Commercial, portable Raman spectrometers
working in the field have also contributed
to the spread of Raman spectroscopy.
>Poor levels of education in terms of
Raman spectroscopy in undergraduate
courses in Earth Sciences make it difficult
for individuals to obtain information of
the highest quality relevant to Earth
sciences and Cultural Heritage.
>This volume is, therefore, timely. … etc. …
I think the importance of this slideshow indicates the lack of precision and measurement in McCrone’s work. Dave said it well, “Because I said so,” was McCrone’s legacy for the Shroud and other work. While it might be impressive, it lacks any scientific basis or authority.
Andy, I will get that done. The methodology I mentioned in the PPT slides is primarily related to how McCrone analyzed the particles on the mylar tape without removing them from the tape. McCrone only found particles that were birefringent–two indexes of refraction indicated the substance was iron oxide. Adler and Heller removed all the particles from the tape fearing the tape would interfere. They found both blood which is non-birefringent and they also found iron oxide. Why didn’t McCrone find the blood that Heller and Adler found? Because he was sloppy in his methodology. My contention therefore is that Heller and Adler used a much more careful approach resulting in more accurate data.
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