Then read all the comments including those by Hugh Farey, Robert Siefker, OK and John Klotz (RIP).
Here are a couple of things I say (blogger’s privilege) :
When in the full light of the day, a paper is examined under a magnifying glass, that light, focused on one spot, may ignite the whole paper. That maybe will happen with Critical Summary 3.0.* The spot is the chart on page 73, Image Characteristics vs. Image Formation Hypotheses, that attempts to claim that only John Jackson’s Fall Through hypothesis “is judged capable of satisfying image characteristics” – that is, seventeen image characteristics selected by the paper’s authors.
Dan Spicer offers an alternative, one that to me seems more realistic than a cloth falling through a body as a function or accident of resurrection. Moreover, Colin Berry’s explanation in support of contact imprinting must also be considered. And we must consider O.K.’s argument that the appearance of metacarpals in the image is possibly perfectly natural. As O.K. writes in a comment:
The authors of Critical Summary carefully use the word judgment. That’s appropriate. But we must realize that this is the judgment of a small team in Colorado, albeit a distinguished scientific team that understands the shroud. It is not the judgment of the wider community that studies, ponders and debates how the images on shroud were formed. I think that much, if not most, of the larger community disagrees with or is ambivalent towards the falling cloth hypothesis. The page 73 chart does little or nothing to change anything in this regard.
Are we in skeptical age? Several people on this blog have said so. I don’t know that that is true. To what other ages can we draw comparisons? And how do we define what we think we are skeptical about? Is it belief in God and how so? Has the definition and understanding of God, miracles, scriptural truth and literalism, doctrine and dogma changed with time? This chart is interesting. You may need to click on it to see it in a larger size.
Also, how have specific definitions changed? Today for instance, we know from a survey, just a few years ago, about a third of American Catholics when asked to respond to the statement, “Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead” said they did not strongly agree. The percentage of Mainline Protestants was statistically the same. The survey, Portraits of American Life Study (PALS) was conducted in 2006 by Michael O. Emerson of Rice University and David H. Sikkink of the University of Notre Dame with funding from their respective schools and the Lilly Endowment Fund.
The others mostly interpreted the resurrection as spiritual. Has this changed with time? How do we know?
A Good Sign: I think the Shroud is wonderful for stimulating thought and discussion and raising new questions among believers and skeptics. This blog, Colin’s blog and Barrie’s website are examples. So, too, are conferences and experiments by skeptics and believers, alike. And so, too, are billboards on country roads.
A Bad Sign: Remember when Mark Antonacci proposed this while collecting signatures on a petition:
[During the Resurrection] particle radiation was emitted from the length and width of Jesus’ dead body while he was wrapped in the Shroud, and it was this “event” which caused the unique images on the cloth. …
… If unfakable and independent evidence was obtained to confirm this hypothesis however, it could actually be used to analyze the central premises of various religions throughout history and in our world today.
Objective and independent evidence does not exist to prove the central premises of any other religion, agnosticism or atheism. In contrast, the Shroud of Turin could provide thousands of unfakable items of scientific and medical evidence to prove the central premises of Christianity. This new, incomparable evidence could lessen or remove the underlying bases for many of the world’s ongoing wars and conflicts. The world has everything to gain and nothing to lose by the proposed molecular and atomic testing of the Shroud of Turin. … (Emphasis in bold font mine)
Dare to challenge the premise of militant fundamentalists of any world religion, including Christianity, with scientific proofs and see how that plays out. Not a good sign!
Femtosecond pulse laser processing concentrates a huge quantity of light energy in extremely short pulses of a few tens to hundreds of femtoseconds, enabling superficial laser machining or marking of any kind of materials, with a reduced or insignificant heat affected area. A digitized paper printed image of the face on the Turin Shroud was used to monitor a scan head intercalated between a femtosecond pulsed laser source and a linen fabric sample, enabling the direct 2D reproduction of the image of the face with a laser beam size corresponding to one pixel of the digitized image. The contrast in the marked image was controlled by adjusting the energy density, the number of superimposed pulses per pixel, and the distance between successive impacts. The visual aspect of the laser-induced image is very similar, at naked eye, to the source image. The negative photograph of the marked linen fabric reveals a face remarkably close to the well-known negative picture of the face on the Turin Shroud. Analyses by infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy were performed to characterize the laser marked areas.
And this means, what, exactly?
An AoGIEBPoRM* Perspective: The image was formed when the miracle of Resurrection initiated a controlled superficial laser machining of the Shroud linen. If not that exactly, then an interesting possibility warranting more investigation.
A Practical Perspective: This is an interesting way to encode graphics content on materials without inks, paint or dyes. Who will be first to market?
*AoGIEBPoRM = Accidental or God-Intended Energetic By-Process (byproduct) of Resurrection Miracle: I continue to have philosophical problems with this. Deep down, I think, some of us are not so much trying to understand how the image was created as we are trying to prove to ourselves and others that the miracle of the Resurrection is both physical and real. Actually, I like to put the word real first. I think the Resurrection can be real for many Christians without them having to believe that it is physical, as well. As for me, I do think the Resurrection was physical but not in the sense that there was anything process-wise or anything produced that could be measurable or observable other than the end result. Jesus was there in the tomb and then he wasn’t. He didn’t pass through the burial cloths or remove them. He didn’t exit through the door or the walls. Because the door of the tomb is part of the narratives, I think it was closed and then it was open so his followers could see in. But the door didn’t move. It was in a closed position and then instantly (by which I mean zero time) it was in an open position. If the Shroud is real and if the image came to be on the cloth in the tomb, then I think, like the position of the door, the image came about in zero time. Nothing pushed the door and nothing etched the image onto the cloth. It just happened miraculously. It was all miraculous beyond the reach of science. To my way of thinking, how the image came to be is so beyond science that it cannot be hypothesized.
There is a lot to struggle with and debate in my head about with this way of thinking. But it makes a heck of a lot more sense to me than AoGIEBPoRM.
More on Robert Rucker’s new paper Image Formation on the Shroud of Turin. Therein, after advising us to be open-minded by not being bound to “a philosophical assumption of naturalism,” Rucker writes:
The radiation not only had to be emitted from the surface of the body, but it had to be emitted from within the body because we can see bones on the Shroud, including teeth, bones in the hand, etc. The radiation had to be emitted within the body to carry to the linen cloth the information regarding the presence of these bones in the body. Since there was no lens between the body and the cloth to focus this radiation, the radiation had to be emitted in vertically collimated directions up and down, like a billion vertically oriented lasers going off simultaneously within the body. In this way, each point on the cloth could be affected by only one point on the body (the point directly above or below it) so that a good resolution image could be formed without a lens.
Why? It would seem to me that a God who could raise Jesus to new life, could also by his will do for all that “radiation” what a lens would do. At the same time, He might even attenuate the radiation for the desired effect. I mean, why not? Do a miracle within a miracle with a Goldilocks effect image. But perhaps we scientifically-minded mortals are more bound than we think to “a philosophical assumption of naturalism” even as we warn readers not to be. We have to have something natural like radiation to do God’s work (except for a bit of luck when it comes to all things quantifiable).
Of course, if we are truly not bound to “a philosophical assumption of naturalism,” then we could skip the radiation altogether and allow God to discolor the fibers without it. Can God do that?
It’s quite possible that miracles — if you believe in them as I do — don’t produce radiation or anything other than the end result. Then what?
I was just wondering: Did God intend the image? If so, why did He go to so much trouble? If not, and the radiation was not anticipated (and you can convince me this is what happened) I might believe in this nuttiness.
It concerns me when a scientist attempts to justify a scientific hypothesis with an appeal to consensus (argumentum ad populum) and that is exactly what Rucker does:
Most Shroud researchers believe that the evidence on the Shroud indicates that the image could not have been formed by an artist or forger, but that in some unknown way the body that was wrapped in the Shroud encoded an image of itself onto the cloth (Ref. 2 and 3). This is the starting point for this proposal.
The assumption about most researchers might be true. It probably is. At least it is these days. At one time in history, there was a consensus belief in geocentrism. Things change, group-think evolves. This is exactly why argumentum ad populum is a fallacy. Might it be, if more well-informed skeptics of the Shroud researched the cloth, that a different consensus might arise?
Anyway, it is sufficient for me that I disagree. I don’t think the evidence indicates that the image could not have been formed by an artist or forger. That doesn’t mean that I think the image was formed by an artist or forger. It means I don’t think the evidence supports an obviously unprovable assumption. Can anyone prove it?
Nor do I think the evidence supports the idea “that in some unknown way the body that was wrapped in the Shroud encoded an image of itself onto the cloth.” Just the word unknown de-hypothesizes everything, doesn’t it?
There is this in the hypothesis:
The radiation not only had to be emitted from the surface of the body, but it had to be emitted from within the body because we can see bones on the Shroud, including teeth, bones in the hand, etc. The radiation had to be emitted within the body to carry to the linen cloth the information regarding the presence of these bones in the body.
We would be wise to regard the advice of Raymond Rogers who wrote:
Two of the most damaging things a “scientist” can do during the development of a “scientific” study is to include speculations on an equal basis with tested facts and
exclude observations he does not like. We have seen both problems in Shroud literature. “I think I see,” seems to be accepted by “true believers” on an equal basis with quantitative measurements.
Physiologically, the effect is explained in terms of “lateral neural inhibition”: the human eye enhances edge contrasts. The mind plays games with what we think we see. Some devoted observers see images of flowers, teeth, bones, etc. on the Shroud. A statement like “I think I see” is totally unacceptable in a scientific discussion.
The appearance of bones including teeth is the issue here. The claim is unacceptably treated on a par with facts. Can we be sure that we are seeing teeth and bones?
We can also look at this explanation from Colin Berry:
Personally I think the boniness is prima facie evidence for imprinting by a contact process [rather] than one by radiation. With a contact process, it is just those parts of each finger that are approximately in the plane of the linen (i.e parallel) that make best contact, especially if there is applied pressure, and that is the top surface. One has only to go a few mm below that topmost plane, and the curvature of the finger means progressively less contact and pressure. There is also the likelihood of a tenting effect across the fingers that means poor imaging between the fingers. Now look at the Shroud image and you will see precisely the kind of shadowing one would expect.
The Shroud of Turin contains good-resolution full-size images, without pigment, of the front and back of a naked crucified man. This paper proposes a multi-step process for formation of these images on the linen Shroud. By following the evidence on the Shroud where it leads, without a presupposition of naturalism, a hypothesis for image formation can be hypothesized that is consistent with all the evidence on the Shroud. The proposed hypothesis involves radiation emitted in the body that carries the information to the Shroud that is required to control the mechanism that discolors the fibers in the threads that make the image. This information is that which defines the appearance of a naked crucified man. We can see the image on the Shroud because this information has been encoded into the pattern of the discolored fibers that make the image. The proposal includes the radiation discoloring the fibers by a static discharge from the top portions of the fibers facing the body, resulting in electrical heating and possible production of ozone that discolors the fibers. This process naturally results in a negative image that contains 3D or topographical information, threads with a mottled appearance, and microscopic properties that are consistent with the Shroud.
During a Christmas break while I was a student at the University of Washington, I tuned in to a show that influenced the trajectory of my faith, quite by accident. It was a broadcast of an hourlong “Firing Line” interview in 1980 between William F. Buckley Jr. and Malcolm Muggeridge, the British journalist who late in life converted to Christianity.
In the course of the interview, Mr. Muggeridge used a parable. Imagine that the Apostle Paul, after his Damascus Road conversion, starts off on his journey, Mr. Muggeridge said, and consults with an eminent public relations man. “I’ve got this campaign and I want to promote this gospel,” Paul tells this individual, who responds, “Well, you’ve got to have some sort of symbol.” To which Paul would reply: “Well, I have got one. I’ve got this cross.”
“The public relations man would have laughed his head off,” Mr. Muggeridge said, with the P.R. man insisting: “You can’t popularize a thing like that. It’s absolutely mad.”
The reaction of Mr. Muggeridge’s imaginary P.R. person is understandable. The Episcopal priest Fleming Rutledge has written that until the accounts of Jesus’ death burst upon the Mediterranean world, “no one in the history of human imagination had conceived of such a thing as the worship of a crucified man.” And yet the crucifixion — an emblem of agony and one of the cruelest methods of execution ever practiced — became a historical pivot point and eventually the most compelling symbol of the most popular faith on earth.
This is a repeat posting from 2011. Today being Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday, it seems like a good day to revisit the subject. To my way of thinking, the subject gains gravitas mainly because it was proposed by John and Rebecca Jackson.
Every now and then we hear that the Shroud of Turin might have been a tablecloth used at the Last Supper before it was Jesus’ primary burial cloth.
I’m not convinced. I’m not convinced that a tablecloth was used by most or any Jews at the time of Christ. And if so, does it even matter?
In this paper we present the hypothesis that the relic of the ‘ Last Supper , that the cloth was used for the table, still exists. For reasons which we will discuss, we will show that this tablecloth, a requirement for the Jewish Passover is the time of Christ, in fact, the Shroud of Turin. We believe that the Shroud of Turin is at the same time, the burial cloth of Jesus and the cloth for the Lord’s Supper served. If so, it would represent an important archaeological evidence of the first Eucharist.
We present our study only as a hypothesis that we wish could provoke further scientific research. This study represents a further deepening of what has been presented at the Conference on the Face of Faces, Christ, held in 1998. 1 We argued, then, is that the Shroud of Turin, exposed to Constantinople in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, was actually the burial cloth of Jesus is that the fire occurred in 1532 meant that the test did the carbon be more recent than it actually was. 2 also indicate several studies showing that the Shroud and its image has different features, cultural and ethnological Jewish origin that proved it to be placed in the first century 3 .
If the Shroud of Turin is the actual, historical burial cloth of Jesus Christ, then it would have to be present at the historical foundation of the Church when it is extended out of its cradle of Judaism. After the events of the Gospel of the Passion, Death and Resurrection, began immediately powerful currents of traditions, theologies and liturgies based on the Resurrection. If the Shroud was the property of the original Judeo-Christian communities, it is then possible, and perhaps inevitable that it (the Shroud) was involved in the dynamics of development and growth of the early Church.
Noting that writing and art were used to obtain information on the history of the Shroud, we suggest that the Liturgy of the Church is also another potential vehicle of historical information that can be examined.
Rabbi Samson H. Levey, Emeritus Professor of Rabbinics and Jewish Religious Thought at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles,provides some answers to the question. This appears on Barrie Schwortz’ shroud.com website.
I. To get a clear picture of Jewish life and practice during the first two centuries C.E. we must rely on the primary Tannaitic sources, namely the Mishnah, the Tosefta and the other Tannaitic passages dispersed throughout the Talmudim of Babylon (Bavli) and of the Land of Israel (Yerushalim).
During this period, a table was used for meals… We find no evidence that the Jewish people used different tables for the Sabbath and festivals, including Passover, than they ordinarily used; although they probably subjected it to a thorough cleaning, same as the rest of the house, to clear away the leaven immediately before Passover. (Mishnah, Pesahim, Ch.1 et passim)
What did the table look like? It had a square top (sometimes also a square bottom), usually made of wood, (Mishnah Kelim 16:1), pottery (Mishnah Kelim 2:3); overlaid with marble (ibid 22:1). It usually had three legs (ibid 22:2), and could accommodate three or four people. For larger groups, such as weddings, long boards were used (called dahavanot) (Tosefta Kelim, Baba Metzia, 5:3).
II. Table Cover: Food was ordinarily eaten off the bare table top (Bavli, Baba Batra 57b), and only the intellectual elite seem to have used a cloth to cover part of the small table for use as napkins to wipe their lips after eating (ibid). According to Maimonides, the Mishnah refers to a leather table covering (skortia), probably designed to protect the table from the elements (Mishnah Kelim 16:4). The only explicit reference to “a cover for tables” (Mishnah Makshirin 5:8) is explained as a sheet spread over the food (not the bare table) to protect it from flies and other insects. (M.Jastrow, Dictionary, vol.II, p.1396, col.1, bot. sub Kesiyah, Cf. P.Blackman, Mishnah VI, 682).
III. A sheet of any cloth, including a mixture of materials (shatnez) may be used as a shroud (Mishnah Kilayim 9:4). It is unlikely that one would be buried in an unclean sheet. The Tannaitic principle is expressed by Rabbi Meir (second century), that at the Resurrection the dead will arise wearing the same garments in which they were interred, and unclean raiment would be a disgrace (Bavli Sanhedrin 90b). Rabban Gamallel (first century) instituted the use of a plain linen shroud for everyone (Bavli Moed Katan 27b. Cf. Matthew 27:59).
An amazing, well-organized collection of Vernon D. Miller’s 1978 photographs of the Shroud of Turin. The photographs are zoomable and scrollable in your browser (I tested with Chrome and Windows Edge). Easy download buttons are provided for all the photographs, presumably, so you can get the best resolution available for each photo.
I tested the download buttons with Chrome. It worked well. I have not analyzed the images for resolution. But with a bit of two-finger stretching on my iPad, I’m guessing it is knock-your-socks-off great.
Notes accompany the photographs. For instance, for the exhibit partially shown here, we find the following description. Of course, your interpretations might be different:
Image 001 (Section 1A)
DESCRIPTION: The Descriptive Photo is the Shroud cloth that is accompanied by a description of the visible marks seen on the cloth.
IMAGE: Full image
MAN SHROUD IMAGE: Negative
For another photograph, we find something like this with film, lens and shutter details.
Image 005 (Section 1B)
DESCRIPTION: Full image
PHOTOGRAPHY INFO: TRI-X copies of Mosaic 048 f/16.5 at 1 sec (Fui N M) (2.9 f pm Gamma .95) (notches in film)
IMAGE: Full image
MAN SHROUD IMAGE: Negative
From the about page because it is important:
License for Photos
The opportunity of accessing photos from this website carries the obligation to follow the license agreement HERE. Essentially these high quality photos are available to you but they must not be placed on any website without prior written permission; they may be used for other purposes as stated in the license. In downloading any of these photos, the license should be adhered to and credit for these photos should be clearly displayed in the following manner:
“@ Vernon Miller, 1978. No unauthorized reproduction of Material on other Websites is allowed without prior written permission from the shroudphotos.com copyright holder. Original photos are available for free at http://www.shroudphotos.com”.
The License above applies only to the photos on the website. The copyright holder for the website vww.shroudphotos.com and its text, is D’Muhala and Lavoie Trust, 2018, All Rights Reserved. No part of this website, except as otherwise herein stated in ‘the license’, can be copied without written permission from the copyright holder.
I remember sitting in LaGuardia Airport several years ago watching news reports about a baseball game. The results of the game had depended on the umpire’s call for a controversial play at home plate. Over and over, a local television news station showed clips of the runner being tagged out. The New York announcer had me convinced. The Yankees should have won the game. Hours later I was sitting at Lambert Field in St. Louis seeing those same clips, over and over and over. And there, the local St. Louis announcer had me convinced that the runner was not tagged out. The Yankees should have lost the game.
Who was right? In the end, I couldn’t decide. Years later, I still don’t know. Was it a close call? When I lived in New York, as I did for many years, would I have favored the New York slanted explanations? And during those many years when I lived in St. Louis, would I have agreed with the St. Louis perspective? Was it a matter of interpretation or persuasion?
I used to work for a man who would frequently admonish us in meetings by saying, “Okay, which is it? The facts or the facts?”
Roger, just a few hours ago, wrote in a comment on this blog:
Wouldn’t the Jesus image show large distortions caused by the unavoidable wrinkles in a shroud of fabric wrapped around a body? If you wrinkle photo paper and use it to develop a photo, then flattening it out would show many lines and voids where the image was interrupted by the creases and folds. Why are there no actual wounds? If a person were subjected to brutal torture by the Romans, shouldn’t there be some actual laceration and swelling? The flagrum was designed to tear through and remove flesh. How was there no flattening of the back or buttocks when the image is to represent a corpse laying on it’s back?
Even a body in rigor mortis flattens on the contact points.
You are right. The Yankees should have won. Now contrast that with this from a story that appeared exactly one year ago in CBN News, a publication of the Christian Broadcasting Network:
… “It is certainly the funeral fabric that wrapped a tortured man.”
[Giulio] Fanti used to research, the cloth, and the three-dimensional projection of the figure to confirm that the man sustained numerous wounds on his body before death.
“I counted 370 wounds from the flagellation, without taking into account the wounds on his sides, which the Shroud doesn’t show because it only enveloped the back and front of the body,” Fanti explained … .
In a comment, Colin Berry tells us what he is planning on his own site. I’d like to focus on each of the ten items that he will be discussing. We can discuss them here and provide him our thoughts. He writes:
As flagged up in an earlier comment, this long-in-the-tooth, dare I say somewhat jaded critic of the supposed supernatural Linen, is currently planning as we speak a new (and possibly final) posting on his own site.
Reminder: it’s to be entitled “Sindonology’s 10 Biggest Mistakes”.
Here’s a summary list of what’s on the drawing board:
1. Mistaken assumption that Secondo Pia’s discovery of the negative image via photography implies that ‘photography’ was required for initial image capture.
2. Mistaken assumption that the response of the body image to 3D-rendering software implies pre-existing “unique encoded 3D infomation”.
3. Mistaken conclusion that the faint body image is confined to the primary cell wall of the linen, with that supposed ‘ultra-superficiality’ needing some kind of subtle radiation-derived process.
4. Mistaken assumption that the Turin “Shroud” should be viewed as a “burial shroud”, whether real of simulated. The biblical account from first three Gospels suggests otherwise (J of A’s linen being intended merely for dignified transport from cross to tomb).
5. Mistaken assumption that the lack of lateral (“wrap around”) distortion of the body image rules out an imprinting mechanism dependent on physical contact (no air gaps).
6. Mistaken assumption in the 1981 STURP Summary that the image chromophore was due to chemical modification of the linen cellulose, with no mention of extraneous additions (whether Rogers’ ‘starch impurity’ or more recent proposals involving use of white flour as imprinting medium (my own Model 10)..
7. Premature radiocarbon dating, needing disfiguring removal of single chunky fabric rectangle. C-14 dating should have been postponed till the procedure worked with single excised threads, taken from multiple sites to exclude charges of “repair patches”.
8. Failure to identify the chemical nature of the image chromophore, especially to discriminate between chemically-modified cellulose and a chemical modification of extraneous coating (notably a Maillard-reaction involving starch or flour coating to generate high molecular weight melanoidins).
9. Pseudo-pathology based on assumption that bloodstains can be equated with body wounds, despite absence of any evidence for there being tears, punctures etc in the imprinted body image per se .
10. Failure to give proper recognition to the key role in French medieval society of the first documented owner of the Linen, namely Geoffroy de Charny, close confidante of his monarch, King Jean II (“The Good”). G. de Charny was prime mover in creating the “Order of the Star”. Possibility that the Linen was intended initially as a centrepiece for Star ceremonial, rudely interrupted by death of G.de Charny at the Battle of Poitiers, 1356. bearer of the Oriflamme,to say nothing of the capture/ransom of his monarch.