Three Comments Promoted, Seven or So Reasons to Believe the Shroud is Authentic

imageLet’s start with the third comment, one by Hugh Farey:

I also agree with Daveb. He summarises the evidence that counters a medieval date for the shroud admirably, and uses, entirely reasonably, words like “ambiguous” and “unproven”, and explains that he is persuaded of authenticity. I, on the other hand, am not persuaded of authenticity. I think that’s fine. The Shroud will not become authentic, or medieval, on the basis of what Daveb or I am persuaded, and it is good that together we can work towards removing some of the ambiguity of the evidence, whichever way it leads.

The “also agree” is agreeing with John Klotz who packed it into six words:

As usual, Daveb says it all.


And what Daveb said:

Until proper representative sampling is carried out in accordance with a valid sampling protocol, the validity of the results from the single grab sample in 1988 must remain ambiguous and debated, whatever the cause might be of the mismatch from an earlier date, in view of other indications that the Shroud is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth. These indications may include: 1) Fanti’s mechanical testing suggesting the possibility of a 1st century date; 2) Historic arguments that the Shroud was in Constantinople in 1204; 3) Indications from the Hungarian Pray manuscript that distinctive features of the Shroud were known in 1195, prior to the alleged C14 dating; 4) Forensic arguments that the image is that of a real crucified person who suffered the punishments reported in the gospels including a crown of thorns and percussio wound to the chest; 5) the otherwise inexplicable cause of the image; 6) the unsmeared blood stains; 7) Presence of Jerusalem limestone; Etc, etc!

The assertion of homogeneity of the cloth remains unproven, in light of reputable assertions of occasional mending, and in that case a single grab sample is insufficient, even though it might be a routine practice for testing of other cloths (e.g. mummy wrappings) for which there would be no cause to presume mending. Rogers, whatever shortcomings there might be in his chemistry knowledge, and also reputed to be an agnostic, was the chemist with the greatest familiarity with Shroud chemistry. His investigations persuaded him that there were anomalies indicative of highly skilled mending.

Should perchance representative sampling demonstrate that the single grab sample was in fact adequately representative of the whole, then some other explanation for this peculiar result might then have to be considered. The forensic arguments, together with the enigmatic cause of the image, seem to me to be particularly persuasive of authenticity.

I’m not sold on numbers 1 and 6, but I am sold overall.  And I think that the historic argument is much more than Constantinople in 1204. I find the Hymn of Pearl very persuasive, for instance.

That Rogers might have been agnostic doesn’t weigh on me. And if it did, it might impress on me a measure of objectivity. However, Joan Rogers, Ray’s wife, has publically stated in the past that they were both Protestants.

12 thoughts on “Three Comments Promoted, Seven or So Reasons to Believe the Shroud is Authentic”

  1. Subject:
    authenticity and scientific controls.

    >1) Fanti’s mechanical testing suggesting
    the possibility of a 1st century date;…

    …Fanti’s mechanical testing … ???

    I hope to see more controls, with more
    exact works in that field!
    In the past I wrote some generic remarks
    (also indicating some particular controls,
    as the “AFM three-bending tests”,
    perhaps useless due to the possibility
    to obtain direct AFM [elasticity] maps, etc. …).
    Then, due to the usual level reached in
    our “controversial discussions” on this blog,
    I think you have to try to be more scientific
    in your approach.
    And then, please, attention. Be careful
    in reading my text:
    Here I don’t write that past mechanical tests
    done by Fanti and Malfi (an interesting
    educational work) can mainly be seen
    as hallucinations or only classified in
    the scientific field of bad works… or other
    similar bad things.
    — —
    Here a generic reference about
    “Three-point bending tests with
    an atomic force microscope”
    and “mechanical properties”:

    “Measurement of the elastic modulus of
    spider mite silk fibers using atomic force microscopy”
    Stephen D. Hudson, Vladimir Zhurov, Vojislava Grbić,
    Miodrag Grbić and Jeffrey L. Hutter


    — — —
    Here I want to add another particular
    Why in the past the researchers
    did not use ATR-FTIR controls
    on areas covered by serum which
    prevented the formation of the image
    on linen cloth?
    Am I wrong in my question?
    See also :
    “depth of penetration” for ATR-FTIR controls…

    This problem has to do with the BIF
    mechanisms proposed as originated
    the Image on the Cloth.
    and then, written here, it is off topic …

  2. Subject:
    The idea of a “New Archaeological
    Chemistry” and the old problem of
    absence or presence of an Image
    under blood and serum.
    — —
    Here what I can again say,
    following the switching from
    the main argument (“…Seven
    or So Reasons to Believe the
    Shroud is Authentic”), arriving
    to the other problem underlined:

    The late researcher Dr. Alan Adler
    wrote that all the blood images show
    evidence of clot retraction rings of
    serum about each wound and this is
    easily seen in the fluorescence photographic studies.
    And then see also: ultraviolet lighting on blood
    marks throughout the entire body…

    What can furthermore observe (about
    the problem of ATR-FTIR controls) a
    forensic scientist about the (presence
    or absence of the) Image (under the
    serum layer)?
    See also: the absence of body image
    on the wound-image margins (Jumper
    et al., “Archaeological Chemistry”, 1984)
    and the RGB image enhancement of
    photographs of serum flows (by
    Don Janney [= STURP team]).

    Has really this “simple ATR-FTIR problem”
    nothing to do with the question inherent the
    authenticity of the Holy Shroud and the
    various BIF mechanisms?
    See also the other problem to solve:
    the serum layer on linen fibrils and
    the effect of radiations (and/or electric discharges)…
    — — —
    I am sorry for this curious “ATR-FTIR
    diversion” (but see also the possibility
    to use other more advanced techniques)
    from the main topic, sometimes the reasonings
    overlap, but this “source of confusion”
    should not have a great influence (in
    order to rule out a possible dialogue) …

    I hope in your answers.

    1. The first simple and reasonable thing
      to do is (or it seems to be) the careful
      measurement, in order to detect the
      exact thickness of the serum layer on linen fibrils …
      Where are the data (and then see also
      the results from the old micro-FTIR controls)
      or the useful experiments?

  3. #4 or course has always been the most compelling…Because you can reason..So this burial cloth held a real crucified human corpse..The human corpse that was inside the Shroud at one point has all the wounds of Jesus, and they are forensically accurate. Jesus had a pretty unique death so its not all that hard to tell it is in fact Jesus, and not some anonymous crucifixion victim, and of course by tradition the cloth has been connected to Jesus which is worth noting, and i’m not sure why a burial cloth would even be taken out a tomb unless it was significant.

    I believe the forensic evidence is more than enough to establish the authenticity of the Shroud, but its always nice to have additional evidence like #7 where there is Jerusalem limestone. Its significant to me that it is largely concentrated near the feet which again just shows this is an authentic burial cloth of someone who walked around probably barefoot before being killed. Until we get further testing on the aragonite which i’m dying to see it will remain not quite excellent evidence, but still decent further evidence in part of a cumulative case for authenticity.

    #2, and #3 are very significant for the Carbon Dating question, and along w/ other pieces of evidence I think shows the results are probably in error without even getting into the scientific evidence.

    #6 Is interesting, but I don’t find it evidence for authenticity really, but more like possible evidence for the Resurrection. The body in the Shroud left within a couple days like Jesus in the Gospels left his empty tomb. Why did the body leave? Was it manual extraction or did Jesus just “disappear”? I think the evidence and what we see on the Shroud points to the latter more so than the former.

    I’m not sure about #1, and don’t quite understand the rationale for #5

  4. Thank you for your comments, Matthew.

    #1) Fanti’s mechanical testing: The technical details setting up the testing are:

    Click to access aimeta-fanti.pdf

    It was essentially a pioneering effort by Fanti & Malfi to develop an alternative method for age determination of flax fibres. The margin of error must inevitably be quite large as age is not the only dependent variable. The specific history of the parent cloth, such as frequency of folding and the various storage environments are also significant in affecting the parameters measured. Thus the authors claimed a margin of error of 400 years, and found it was compatible within the time that Jesus lived. The paper is highly technical and it is helpful to know something of the theory of Strength of Materials, a standard discipline in Engineering. Parameters measured include Young’s Modulus, tensile strength, loss factor. Other methods have also been used including Raman spectroscopy.

    #5) Cause of the image: This remains unknown; Possibilities include a) some as yet unknown naturalistic process; b) an artisan’s deliberate attempt by a process which still remains a secret; c) a miraculous divine intervention. Despite various attempts to replicate the image, none have been really successful, and few if any attempts display all the known properties of the Shroud image. If it was the result of an artisan, his identity is unknown and he left no record of either his attempts, or of his failures. The forensic evidence displays a knowledge of anatomy not known in medieval times.

    #6) Unsmeared blood marks: This is also part of the forensic evidence. If say an artisan used even a crucified corpse to produce his image, then removal of the corpse would surely have resulted in smearing. There are good indications that the blood marks occurred before the image. However a miraculous resurrection could be expected not to smear the blood marks.

    It is important I think to weigh the totality of the available evidence, not necessarily any single one. The evidence is necessarily circumstantial, and in such cases the total weight is what must determine any decision on the question of authenticity. Particular pieces of evidence will be more persuasive than others, and individual viewpoints also play a part.

    1. I hope you will forgive me if I rise again
      trying to clarify something about
      the “alternative dating”…

      >#1) Fanti’s mechanical testing: …
      … … …
      >…Other methods have also been
      used including Raman spectroscopy.

      The other vibrational spectroscopy
      was based on ATR-FTIR (but see also
      my past generic remarks about the problem
      of exact ATR-FTIR calibrations).
      In any case there is the book (by Fanti and Malfi)
      and then all the readers interested on
      the issue of “alternative dating” can
      read that interesting book…


      Like I already wrote on this blog particular works,
      useful for “alternative dating”, can also
      be done using SPM controls and
      these works are based on the same
      idea of degradation of mechanical characteristics
      of linen fibers after centuries (See also my old
      intervention, during the International Congress
      held in Turin [in 1998], where I indicated
      the SPMs as useful tools in order to check the
      cellulosic chains of the ancient linen cloth and
      the biological materials [blood, DNA, etc.]).
      But, until now, no one was able to do
      that SPM survey on Holy Shroud.

      So, the work done by Fanti mainly seems
      to be only a preliminar step in order
      to improve the analyses, working with
      the SPMs tools …as I indicated years ago…

      Then there is another possible thing to take
      into account in your investigations.
      See the past exhibition:
      “Ancient Faces: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt”
      [February 15 – May 7, 2000],
      “Metropolitan Museum of Art”…
      From where it come the use (Fayum, etc.)
      to do the ancient “Graeco-Egyptian portraits”?

      These reperts were rare and fragile works,
      including the Metropolitan’s entire collection
      of mummy portraits…
      So, before to destroy linen fibrils coming from
      the Holy Shroud there is that field to investigate
      – vibrational spectroscopies : ATR-FTIR, IR-Raman
      – advanced microscopies: AFM, CFM, AFM-Raman
      SERS controls (vibrational spectroscopy)!
      I have just found a book
      by Ricardo Aroca with the following title:
      “Surface-Enhanced Vibrational Spectroscopy”
      John Wiley & Sons, 2006


      If you find this is an interesting intervention
      (that worth to deepen), then answer to me!

  5. I want to add something about
    “AFM Mechanical mapping of linen fibres”.

    Nanoindentation using atomic force microscopy
    can be used to examine the mechanical properties
    of fibers at nanoscale.
    Then the effect of accelerated aging of linen fibers
    under ultraviolet (UV) and thermal-oxidative
    conditions on mechanical property gradients
    across the fiber cross-section can be investigated.
    I am curious about the level of UV degradation
    that produces bulk degradation up to x hours
    of exposure and surface degradation
    See also the possible lower values of
    Young’s modulus at surface compared to center.

    In my opinion we can also try to use
    the AFM microscopy (= AFM and flexural tests)
    with bending actuators…

    See (f.e.) the old tests:
    “Mechanical characterization of
    nanofibers – A review”
    E.P.S. Tan, C.T. Lim
    published in
    “Composites Science and Technology”
    Volume 66, Issue 9, July 2006,
    Pages 1102–1111
    Here a short excerpt from the Abstract:
    >… there is a need to characterize the
    mechanical properties of single nanofibers.
    >The aim of this paper is to provide a review
    of experimental techniques for the mechanical
    characterization of nanofibers, namely tensile test,
    bend test and indentation done at the nanoscale. …


    For example, we can try to think at
    polypyrrole (ppy) based bimorph nanoactuators.
    These nanoactuators consists of
    PPY nanowire and Cu thin film.

    “Determination of Mechanical Properties and
    Actuation Behaviors of Polypyrrole–Copper
    Bimorph Nanoactuators”
    3 Author(s):
    Sul, O. ; Mech. Eng. Dept., Stevens Inst. of Technol.,
    Hoboken, NJ, USA ;
    Seongjin Jang ; Eui-Hyeok Yang

    Published in:
    Nanotechnology, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:10 , Issue: 5 )
    >… The measured force from the nanoactuator
    was approximately 1 nN (at ΔT = 100 K).


    Here another kind of link
    [piezoceramic actuator
    © 1996-2015 PI (Physik Instrumente)]:
    — — —
    A possible generic bibliographic reference:

    Smart Materials-Based Actuators at the
    Micro/Nano-Scale: Characterization, Control,
    and Applications.
    Micky Rakotondrabe
    Springer Science & Business Media,
    June 2013

    This book also includes two of the most
    emerging topics and applications:
    Nanorobotics and cells micro/nano-manipulation…

    And then:
    see also the sad lack of “high technical innovations”
    during the past Congress (2014) hold in Bari…


    Click to access Programma_ATSI%20final.pdf

    So, we can only hope to see
    more efforts in the next future
    (in the field that before I have
    underlined = AFM and “non-destructive
    flexural tests” useful to obtain an
    evaluation about the probable epoch
    of linen materials and also [perhaps]
    for biological remains…).

  6. I have to rewrite a deleted hasty message.

    I wanted to add something about
    AFM Mechanical mapping …

    Nanoindentation using AFM can be used to examine
    mechanical properties of fibers at nanoscale.
    Then the effect of accelerated aging of linen fibers
    under UV (and/or VUV) and thermal-oxidative
    conditions on mechanical property gradients
    across the fiber cross-section can be investigated.
    I am curious about the level of UV degradation
    that produces surface degradation
    and bulk degradation up to x hours of exposure
    (See also the lower values of Young’s
    modulus at surface compared to center).

    In my opinion we can also try to use
    the AFM microscopy (= AFM and flexural tests)
    with bending actuators.

    See (f.e.) the old controls :
    “Mechanical characterization
    of nanofibbers – A review”
    EPS Tan, CT Lim,
    published in Composites Science anTechnology”
    Vol. 66, issue 9, July 2006

    Here ashort excerpt from the abstract:
    >… there is a need to characterize
    the mechanical properties of single
    nanofibers, namely tensile test bend test
    and indentation done at the nanoscale…

    1. I apologize for what I quickly wrote (at 12:55 pm),
      also committing two misspellings…

      1) >“Mechanical characterization
      of nanofibbers – A review”

      Instead of:
      “Mechanical characterization
      of nanofibers – A review”

      2) >ashort excerpt

      instead of:
      >a short excerpt

      Unfortunately yesterday evening
      did not appear to me the text of
      the message (sent at 12:36 pm)
      I had written a few minutes before
      and then I thought that the text of that
      message (sent at 12:36 pm) was lost …

      I also wanted to add the following (generic) links:

      Click to access jm_piezoproducts_company_brochure_en_13022015.pdf

      Explicavi sententiam meam eo consilio, tuum iudicium ut cognoscerem.

      I have not yet turned the previous
      statements “Semel in anno licito insanire”…
      into: “Semel in anno licito cogitare”…

      1. I have forgotten the translation about
        the previous latin words:
        “Explicavi sententiam meam eo consilio,
        tuum iudicium ut cognoscerem.”

        here my attempts:
        = I explained my opinion, on going to know your opinion.
        = I explained my opinion in the intention to know your opinion.

        Am I wrong for these translations?
        Please, if I am wrong,
        prove to me where I am wrong…
        — — —
        Another argument:
        Flexural tests.

        The three point bending flexural test
        provides values for the modulus of
        elasticity in bending, flexural stress,
        flexural strain and the flexural stress-strain
        response of the material.


        Bending tests with atomic force microscopes (AFM) is a common method for elasticity measurements on 1D nanomaterials.
        — — —
        The classical example is the following:
        “A method for testing the elastic modulus
        of single cellulose fibrils via
        atomic force microscopy”
        Qingzheng Cheng, Siqun Wang
        published in
        “Composites Part A: Applied Science
        and Manufacturing”
        Vol. 39, Issue 12, December 2008

        … and here a short excerpt from the
        >… The elastic modulus of cellulose fibrils,
        of diameter approximately 170 nm
        isolated from Lyocell fibers by
        high intensity ultrasonication was
        evaluated to be 93 GPa. …


        There is also something to read,
        printed in an interesting book,
        “Carbohydrate Nanotechnology”
        Keith J. Stine
        John Wiley & Sons, October 2015

        — — —
        And then, see also:
        the use of micro/nano-electronics and
        micro/nano-electromechanical systems

  7. As you can easily verify, in a
    past message (sent in data:
    January 9, 2015 at 11:16 am),
    I wrote:

    >…I indicated the “AFM three-point bending test”.
    But we know that is possible to propose
    the use of SPM technology to obtain
    the elastic mapping for ancient linen fibrils
    (coming from areas not involved in the Fire
    of the year 1532) instead of acting on each
    single fibril with a single AFM bending test…

    Obviously we cannot ignore other
    sources of mechanical weakness than age alone…
    For example FIre damage, bacterial attacks,
    fungal attacks, and the effects of the repeated
    flexing of the fabric in a given area (see also:
    the well-known argument, already indicated
    by Dr. Jackson: historical folds = and then a
    possible idea, an interesting way to find
    the epoch for these plies… if these plies were
    not altered in 2002).etc.

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