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Comment Promoted: Clarifying Details on the Reweave Theory Development

January 22, 2014 1 comment

imageA telephone caller (it happens every now and then) suggested bringing a recent comment by Joe Marino to the forefront. “This is important information,” he said. I agree.

Joe had commented in Cat Among the Pigeons:

Some clarifications about the order and circumstances of the invisible reweave theory.

We did not start out with the Quad Mosaic photos when we first presented our theory in 2000. We had shown some experts photos that included a very high-quality photo of the C-14 area that’s in the excellent book by Gino Moretto (of the Shroud Museum in Turin) called Shroud Guide. It was only brought out in 2008 in the Chemistry Today article from 2008 and the presentation made at the Ohio Shroud conference that year.

Regarding the experts we showed it to, one was Thomas Ferguson & Co. Ltd, world-renowned makers of Double Damask Linen, another was Louis Harner of Albany International Research Company, and the third was European-trained weaver David Pearson, owner of the French Tailors in Columbus, Ohio, who was very familiar with the French invisible reweave technique. I will leave it to others to decide if the fact that they aren’t academics is significant.

Going back to the Quad Mosaic, there’s a very fine article on Barrie’s site about it at http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/quad.pdf, with some important comments by the late Jean Lorre, an imaging expert from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Three Questions About The Reweaving Hypothesis

November 22, 2015 67 comments

imageA reader asks:

Is there any confirmation that Raymond Rogers actually analyzed the 1988 Sample when he determined it was interwoven with dyed Cotton? How exactly do we know he received this from Gonella?

Also, did Joe Marino and Sue Benford ever have access to the 1988 sample? How could they have confirmed it was a reweaved sample if they were kept at individual universities?

Has anyone ever responded to this supposed refutation of the reweave theory titled The Invisible Mending of the Shroud, the Theory and the Reality.

HERE are a few postings in this blog dealing with the subject. Just scroll down the page. If you want to see the comments, click on the title or the word comments.

(linking in email edited by me)

Categories: Carbon 14 Dating

Bob Rucker: A Burst of Radiation Did Three Things

October 30, 2015 56 comments

Alas,  I could not find that Bob Rucker or his work was mentioned
anywhere in the Critical Summary.


clip_image001Bob Rucker (pictured) posted what follows as a comment last evening. I have added a link to a previous comment by Bob and some links to more information.

It is my opinion that enough evidence has accumulated that we should now realize that there was no invisible repair/reweave in the C14 sample area, and that the solution to the C14 dating problem is what I presented at the St. Louis conference in 2014. I showed that MCNP nuclear analysis calculations indicate that if 3.0 x 10^18 neutrons are emitted uniformly in the body while it was in the shroud in the tomb, then three mysteries related to C14 dating are solved:

1) Neutron absorption in N14 in the shroud creates new C14 in the shroud that is identical to the original C14 in the shroud so that the C14 date is shifted from 30 AD to 1260 AD. The dating laboratories, not realizing that the shroud had been through a neutron absorption event, would have misinterpreted their result by assuming the wrong C14 decay curve.

2) The results reported by the three dating laboratories were not in good agreement with each other. Statistical analysis indicates only a 5% chance that their results were within their measurement uncertainty, so that the differences were probably (95% probability?) caused by something. Plotting their results as a function of the distance from the end of the shroud indicates that there is a slope or gradient of 42 to 57 years per cm across their data depending on the sampling done in Tucson. This slope in the C14 dates from the three laboratories agrees with the MCNP nuclear analysis calculations, which calculate that a uniform neutron emission in the body causes a neutron distribution in the tomb which produces just this range in the C14 dates across the sample region, so that the disagreement between the laboratory values is the result of the slope of the neutron distribution at the sample location resulting from homogeneous emission of neutrons in the body.

image3) These same MCNP calculations predict that a piece of cloth placed on the side bench about a foot in front of the back bench where the body in the shroud was located would date to about 700 AD. This location in the tomb is a natural location for the person working on the body in the tomb to lay the face/head cloth. According to tradition, the Sudarium of Oviedo is the face/head cloth of Jesus. It was C14 dated to 700 AD, in excellent agreement with the MCNP results.

We should realize the importance of not making the common a priori presupposition of naturalism, so that we not automatically rule out anything that is beyond the laws of science as we currently understand them, so that we can follow the scientific evidence where it leads. When this is done, I believe that the scientific evidence indicates that the solution to the enigma of the shroud is that a burst of radiation occurred within the body that did three things: 1) It caused the image, perhaps either by protons or ultraviolet based on experiments. 2) It thrust the blood off of the body, heated it turning it into a liquid, and thrust it against and into the fibers of the shroud, and 3) It caused the shift in the C14 date from 30 to 1260 AD and the slope in the C14 dates as discussed above. Bob Rucker

I’ve noticed that as you age, you learn that when the morning coffee isn’t yet ready, the mind wanders somewhere between wakefulness and wackiness. Hey, I thought in this state, what does the Critical Summary have to say about this. Alas,  I could not find that Bob Rucker or his work was mentioned anywhere in the Critical Summary. Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was too early in the morning to find such stuff.  But then I did find this interesting paragraph on page 82:

Neutron Flux: In the same issue of Nature that reported the 1988 radiocarbon testing results there was an important letter to the editor. This letter rings out today with possibly more force than when It was first written. It causes one again to ponder and adopt a position of caution. The correspondence was with Thomas J. Phillips of the High Energy Physics Laboratory at Harvard University. Phillips suggested that the Shroud might be a fundamentally altered fabric with respect to its C-14 content due its possible witness to some unexplained event, possibly in the tomb of Jesus. He hypothesized that such an unexplained event, which itself cannot be the subject of scientific inquiry, may have had an effect on the Shroud that can be studied scientifically. The unknown event may have generated a flux of neutrons that could have skewed the C-14 / C-12 ratio of the linen doth…..

I met Bob in St. Louis. Nice guy. Undeniably brilliant. Maybe he is on to something. But I’m just not there yet in being able to accept this or any other hypothesis, at least when it comes to how the image was formed. To restate with a bit of on-the-fly-rewrting of what I’ve said before, I say …

With regard to the image I’m stuck in the “it is inexplicable” camp.

You don’t like that? Well then you can consider Bob Rucker’s radiation, John Jackson’s cloth falling through a mechanically transparent body whatever that means, Tipler’s sphaleron quantum tunneling, Giulio Fanti’s corona discharge, Paolo Di Lazzaro’s ultraviolet (with or without the cloth falling through the body, Rogers’ Maillard reactions (quite natural if it could work but requiring every bit as much of a miraculous manipulation to produce such an image as any of the other byproduct of a miracle hypotheses would), Charles Freeman’s it’s-not-a-fraud painting (if STURP and Colin Berry are wrong) and Colin Berry’s fraud-by-Maillard if everyone else is wrong (which is not unreasonable to suppose).  Or think of something else.

As for the C14 question, I’m also stuck in the “so far inexplicable” camp.

Here are some resources for understanding and thinking about Bob’s ideas.

Another Comment by Bob Rucker: Reaction to Ray Rogers’ Paper on Radiation

Abstract for the Following Paper

MCNP Analysis of Neutrons Released from Jesus’ Body in the Resurrection (54 Slides)

Notes for the 54 Slides

Video of the Presentation in St. Louis (1 Hour)

Significant Response to the Preview of the Thermochimica Acta Editorial

September 9, 2015 55 comments

… 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.

Categories: Article, History Tags:

New Paper by Pam Moon

December 18, 2014 20 comments

imagePam Moon has uploaded another paper she wrote to her Shroud of Turin Exhibition site: Bl Sebastian Valfrè: The Black Thread, Reweave, and Unravelling the Shroud. It begins:

It was an enormous privilege to attend the St Lewis Shroud conference and to meet so many of the world’s greatest Shroud experts. Can I give my congratulations to the organisers. The comments below are based on some of the conversations I had at the conference.

I am very grateful to Joe Marino for allowing me to present the Oxford photographs and Donna Campbell’s report, to Barrie Schwortz for finding the information online and to Russ Breault for recording the conference. Donna Campbell wrote: ‘there are signs in the Shroud sample that direct the notion of mending or reweaving of the actual woven fabric.’ One of the items mentioned in the presentation was the large black thread which is visible on the Oxford and Arizona samples. A comparison was made with the small black and large white threads also present.

I was delighted to discover from Emanuela Marinelli and Will Meacham that the large black thread was probably stitched in 1694 by Bl Sebastian Valfrè. The invisible reweave hypothesis of Joe Marino and Sue Benford supported by Donna Campbell may refer to two or three different episodes of stitch repair and Bl Sebastian’s repair was one episode. The best demonstration of invisible reweave (both French and in-weaving) I have seen is by the company Without a Trace and can be seen in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIgC_IeuzKE. Please look at that before continuing! The black thread also points to the possibility that the corner strands were unravelled, rewoven back together and then stitched back into place with reweaving techniques. Below is the large black thread seen in th Oxford and Arizona photographs see: https://archdams.arch.ox.ac.uk/?c=1203&k=1bcdc90a8b [|] http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/arizona.pdf. Investigating a Dated piece of the Shroud of Turin, Radiocarbon, 52, 2010.

Paper Chase: The Shroud of Turin and its Radiodating

November 23, 2014 18 comments

The proportion of the "youngest" threads is 32.23 % – almost a third of the total
– on the whole SAMPLE. In the case of the "cleaned", radio dated sample,
it increases to 41.65% – approaching the half.

imageIt was one of those things I had put in a stack of things to get around to. Don’t believe me if I say I didn’t have the time. I did. Maybe the best excuse I can invent is this: Those stacks, these days, are virtual, electronic reminders that buzz and beep at all the wrong times. I have developed many ways of ignoring electronic reminders. It was easier when papers piled up in stacks so high you could use them for footrests.

So I appreciated hearing from Joe Marino:

Barrie’s October 5 update had a paper from the 1993 Rome symposium by the late archaeologist Maria Grazia Siliato titled "The Shroud of Turin and its radiodating".

I think you mentioned Barrie’s update at the time but no special mention was made of this paper.  I just reread it again this morning and although I’m biased, I think it’s an excellent article that didn’t get the notice it deserved at the time and still doesn’t, but in light of all the other evidence that has come out about the reweave theory since then, I think it is a most significant paper.  Give it another read and see if you don’t agree.

I agree. The Shroud of Turin and its radiodating by Maria Grazia Siliato, translated by Dr. Augusto Monacelli, demands the attention of everyone interested in the 1988 carbon dating. Here is a sample (pun intended):

We have come to the core of the problem.

At that time, product analyses carried out by experts Timossi and Raes calculated, with good accuracy, the MEDIUM WEIGHT PER SQUARE CENTIMETER OF THE SHROUD’S CLOTH.

It was also calculated with radiographs by Morris, London and Mottern in 1978, and the result was consistent with the previous ones. The lowest average weight was the one proposed on another occasion by the operator in charge of the sample to be radio dated.

Considering the irregularities of an ancient, handcrafted cloth, and in order to move within safer margins, we have applied a prudential, surplus tolerance to the measures indicated.

Let us therefore assume an average weight of 25.00 MILLIGRAMS PER SQUARE CENTIMETER of the SHROUD’S CLOTH.

Now, the following is what happened upon TAKING THE SAMPLE FOR RADIO DATING:

1) According to the official operator in charge of taking the sample, the sample measures cm 8.1 x 1.6, namely, cm² 12.96

2) In the video showing the taking of the sample, the weight measured on the scales is mg 478.1

3) Dividing the sample’s weight by its surface (mg 478.1: cm² 12.96), we obtain a WEIGHT of approx. mg 36.89 per cm².

Therefore, the sample weighs mg 11.89 per cm² MORE than the original cloth should – at most.

4) However, the operator in charge of taking the sample says that he removed some irregularities and some "free" threads from the sample. (Let us skip the singular procedure of "rethreading" and squaring such a precious, ancient sample, wasting further irreplaceable material). The operator reduced the sample’s measures to cm 7.00 x 1.00, namely cm² 7.00)

.

WEIGHTS OF THE SHROUD AND WEIGHTS OF THE RESTORATION WORKS

SHROUD → AVERAGE WEIGHT → 1 cm² (pict. of scales) mg 25.00 cm² 12%

WEIGHT mg 478.1

SAMPLE TAKEN → AVERAGE WEIGHT → 1 cm² (pict. of scales) mg 36.89 cm² 7.00

WEIGHT mg 300

RADIODATED PART OF SAMPLE → AVERAGE WEIGHT → 1 cm² (pict. of scales) mg 42.85

The sample bears recent restoration works of mg 17.85 per cm² – accounting for 41.65 % of the total

.

5) Then the operator reports the WEIGHT of the sample, "cleaned" and distributed to laboratories: mg 300

6) Dividing the weight of the "cleaned" sample by its surface of mg 300: cm² 7.00, we obtain a WEIGHT of mg 42.85 per cm².

The sample weighs mg 17.85 per cm² MORE than the original cloth should, at most.

This element is even more surprising and irregular than that of the "non cleaned" sample.

A few millimeters away, we find differences of nearly 6 milligrams per square centimeter. (Difference between 36.89 and 42.85 = 5.96).

7) AS A RESULT, WHAT EMERGES IS THE PROOF THAT THE SAMPLE WAS IRREGULARLY LOADED WITH FOREIGN, UNDETERMINED TEXTILE MATERIAL – in other words, MANY THREADS WERE ADDED FOR ITS MENDING with various techniques IN DIFFERENT, MUCH LATER AGES.

8) The proportion of the "youngest" threads is 32.23 % – almost a third of the total – on the whole SAMPLE. In the case of the "cleaned", radio dated sample, it increases to 41.65% – approaching the half.

Comment Promoted: Looking Beyond an Edessa-Constantinople Route

August 15, 2014 25 comments

the key problem is survival

Charles Freeman writes in a comment:

As 99.9999 per cent or more of ancient textiles ( and these included all clothing) are lost, it is hard to say anything more than that the Shroud, if it is indeed first century, is a unique SURVIVAL. I am more interested in knowing about the looms ,ancient or medieval, that could have produced it and I am aware that this is a highly specialist area and I would defer to expert opinion.

Still there is much basic work to be done. Contrary to what Ian Wilson tells us ,the Shroud is not a particularly fine linen cloth. Examples of linen with 40 to 70 warp and weft threads per cm are known from Egypt, Palestine and Syria in this period, much greater quality than the Shroud. (See the good article on weaving in the ancient eastern Mediterranean in the Cambridge History of Western textiles ( p, 110 for the figures).

Again if one looks at examples such as the Ramesses Girdle, now in Liverpool, of c. 1200 BC, which, even with computer help, has proved almost impossible to reweave, the Shroud is not especially complicated.

So when one says that the Shroud is unique, it does not mean that one should say it is something special as a cloth so long as much finer and more complicated cloths from the ancient Mediterranean are known to exist.

For me, the key problem is survival. Although I believe that the Shroud is medieval, if a first century date does come up on a radiocarbon redating, I would assume that it was kept somewhere among the large and vibrant early Christian communities of Egypt where the damp would not have got at it. I am frustrated by the way so-called Shroud researchers are not prepared to look outside the Edessa/Constantinople route, when there are so many alternatives to it to explore. The Shroud would not have survived long cooped up in a brick wall in damp (even subject to flooding) Edessa!!

Dissent of the day: I’ll say one thing for Jones

May 25, 2014 79 comments

imageA reader from New Hampshire writes:

I’ll say one thing for Jones, no one has done a better job of debunking the Marino and Benford reweave theory than him. He damned the quad mosaics with Marino’s own words.

As you pointed out, Jones did make two mistakes with historical evidence, the fake emperor’s letter and the Russian-style crucifix footrest. The rest of the evidence he presented is formidable. I am convinced by it.

Jones wrote, “it would be a miracle if the Shroud being first century `just happened’, by a combination of chance factors, like contamination and medieval repairs, etc, to have a radiocarbon date of 1325 +/- 65, only 25-30 years before the Shroud’s first appearance in undisputed history.”

Is that no obvious to everyone?

More Tomfoolery: The carbon dating results are worthless

May 22, 2014 89 comments

imageJoe Marino has expanded the passage he sent a couple of days ago from The Untold Story of the Holy Shroud by Carlos Evaristo (See Documented Pieces Removed from the Shroud). The additional material precedes the material Joe sent previously, which now begins with the sixth paragraph below that I marked with a yellow swath.

I’m reluctant to post this. The previous posting has over 130 comments (half of them by Max who has agreed to post in a way that is easier for the rest of us. These four sentences, for instance, were sent as four comments in nine minutes. I was ready to toss my iPhone away: “Not to mention weight pressure per cm2 at both edges.” “Rings with a faceted gem.” “ Accidents happen.” “The shroud could be held for an hour or even more.” Fortunately there were no typos. Note to Max, most typos don’t need to be corrected. And if it will help, I’ll buy your word-a-minute fingernail FACT – no reply needed.)

Back to the topic at hand. Hugh, let me address this to you. I’m not a scientist like you. But I am a smart fellow. I was a business executive. Had this been a business problem and had this information been known in 1988 it would have been reason enough to stop the carbon dating tests. “Hard stop,” I used to say. The information wasn’t known, unfortunately.

Hugh, you know well what I was thinking when I tongue in cheek quoted the words ‘another proof’ in the last posting. But I do think this is added weight to the “reweave idea” that you “currently reject.” Can I say ‘more reasonable doubt’  instead?That is what I think. Okay, it is no longer 1988 and we can only look back. There is enough reasonable evidence to be very suspicious about the results of the carbon dating like cotton fibers, gum, dye, splices, vanillin and statistics. Now there is all this quoted described tomfoolery. We can still declare a hard stop, in a sense. It is not proof as a scientist must perhaps see it. But it is enough to say that the carbon dating results are worthless. We don’t have a date for the cloth.

We will still have carbon dating fundamentalists on the left and by-miracle-by-golly isotope rejuvenators on the right. And we are about to be treated to a new theory that the KGB and one of the Arizona scientists (whose face, BTW, has 13 of the 15 Vignon markings) hacked the computer control panels of the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) systems in three countries.

Back to the topic at hand:

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 Extractumcopies 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.”

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.

And while I was writing the above, this floated in. It is from later pages (pp. 265 & 267 (picture on pg. 266) of the Evaristo book.  Italics are in the original:

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 thepractice 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 by Princess 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.

Hard stop! The carbon dating results are worthless. We don’t have a date for the cloth.

Thinking the 1988 Carbon Dating Outweighs the Other Evidence Is Absurd

April 16, 2014 2 comments

“Carbon dating alone, whether in its 1988 form or
some improvement upon it, isn’t enough.”

imageJason Engwer has delivered a significant and thought-provoking analysis in Triablogue, Weighing The Shroud’s 1988 Carbon Dating

Meacham to Farey upon a whirlwind:

[William] Meacham wrote nearly a decade ago. There have been some significant developments since then. In his book, Meacham discussed Ray Rogers’ 2005 article that undermines the 1988 carbon dating results. Further research since then has corroborated Rogers’ findings. For some examples, see here. A study published in 2010 by Marco Riani, et al., for instance, found significant heterogeneity in the section of the Shroud tested in 1988. In 2013,Giulio Fanti and some other researchers published the results of some dating tests they ran on alleged fragments of the Shroud. All of their dating methods showed a pre-medieval date.

On the other hand, Timothy Jull, a member of the University of Arizona lab that tested the Shroud in 1988,published an article in 2010 that cast doubt on Rogers’ findings. In 2013, Hugh Farey wrote an article that discusses problems with the reweave hypothesis (the view that the section of the Shroud tested in 1988 contains some more recent threads woven into the original cloth during a repair, so that the more recent threads would distort the carbon dating).

Mark Oxley has written an article criticizing Jull’s piece. For some initial reactions to Farey’s article, see the thread here. In that thread, Thibault Heimburger says that he’s noticed some problems with Farey’s article and suggests that he’ll be writing a response to it.

I think Jull and Farey make some good points that significantly weaken the reweave hypothesis. The reweave hypothesis still seems to be the best explanation of the evidence, but now by a smaller margin. We have to leave the door wide open to other possibilities.

Wringing answers from the unknown:

How would the artist or forger know how to portray a Roman crucifixion victim so accurately? Why would he repeatedly and accurately depart from how Jesus was portrayed in the large majority of medieval depictions (a nail wound closer to the wrist than the palm; wounds from a thick cap of thorns rather than a thin wreath of thorns; etc.)? Why are so many characteristics of the Shroud inconsistent with the interests of an artist or forger? Why would an artist or forger brilliant enough to produce such a masterpiece go about introducing his work to the world in such an ineffective manner? Geoffrey de Charny was a relatively low-level figure in the society of his day. The modest status of the Shroud around the medieval timeframe suggested by the 1988 carbon dating is incongruous with what an artist or forger brilliant enough to produce the Shroud would be likely to do with it. And why would an artist or forger include a close-up depiction of Jesus completely nude and uncovered on his back side, something that the vast majority of people seem to find objectionable even in the more sexually libertine cultures of our day (how much more so in a medieval context)? Why and how would an artist or forger include so many details that can’t be seen by the naked eye (in an age without microscopes and other such devices)? Why would an artist or forger display his genius in the Shroud, but nowhere else? Why don’t we see comparable displays of genius from the same source around the same time? Why is the Shroud such an isolated object that stands out so starkly from the medieval context?

The notion that the 1988 carbon dating alone equals or outweighs all of the evidence cited above for an earlier date is absurd. The 1988 dating of one small piece of the cloth, from such a poor area for that sort of testing, can’t bear the weight that’s so often placed upon it. I would argue that even if further carbon dating would produce the same or similar results, the evidence for an earlier date would still weigh more. Carbon dating alone, whether in its 1988 form or some improvement upon it, isn’t enough. There has to be more. That’s how good the evidence is for an earlier date.

Do read the entire posting Weighing The Shroud’s 1988 Carbon Dating at Triablogue.


* Whirlwind? In this sense, yes, borrowing some words from the conflicted Anne Rice:

Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds — justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can’t go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.

Again: Joe Marino, Sue Benford and the Carbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin

October 18, 2013 58 comments

In the past couple of days there has been a lot of blame-game, back-and-forth banter about the 1988 radiocarbon dating. I though I would republish a posting from almost three years ago. It follows:

Joe Marino, Sue Benford and the Carbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin
January 19, 2011

Joe Marino writes:

imageWhen Sue Benford and I submitted to Radiocarbon in 2001 our paper on the 16th century patch (a.k.a. invisible reweave), we were told who the reviewers were:

*Paul Damon, head of the U. of Arizona laboratory

*Jacque Evin, French C-14 expert present at the 1988 sample-taking

*Gabrial Vial, French textile expert present at the 1988 sample-taking

*Franco Testore, Italian French textile expert present at the 1988 sample-taking

*Harry Gove, inventor of the C-14 method, who had literally bet a companion that the Shroud was medieval and was heavily involved in various aspects of the dating, including working to keep STURP from being involved in any testing

Do you think the deck was stacked against us?

Yes! But Benford and Marino prevailed. Big time!

What Joe Marino and Sue Benford accomplished is monumental. They proposed that the material used for carbon dating was from an area of the shroud that had been mended using a process called invisible reweaving. Of course, as everyone involved in shroud research now knows, Ray Rogers, a Los Alamos chemist, doubted they were right. According to Nature’s Philip Ball, “Rogers thought that he would be able to ‘disprove [the] theory in five minutes.’” (brackets are Ball’s). Inside the Vatican, an independent journal on Vatican affairs, reported:

imageRogers, who usually viewed attempts to invalidate the 1988 study as ‘ludicrous’ . . . set out to show their [Benford and Marino] claim was wrong, but in the process, he discovered they were correct.

Ludicrous was a mild way of putting it. Rogers words were stronger. He thought of the two researchers as part of a lunatic fringe. In the end, however, Rogers proved himself wrong. And he was honest and bold enough to admit it. In a letter to the editor of the Skeptical Inquirer magazine he wrote:

I accepted the radiocarbon results, and I believed that the "invisible reweave" claim was highly improbable. I used my samples to test it. One of the greatest embarrassments a scientist can face is to have to agree with the lunatic fringe.

It would have been nice to see something similar from Timothy Jull in the recent paper he coauthored with Rachel Freer-Waters. Granted, he did not think that he found corroborating evidence in support of Marino and Benford. By simply accepting the presence of cotton fibers by saying that Gilbert Raes had found cotton, too, he sent a clear, unintended signal to everyone who understood Marino, Benford and Rogers that he didn’t get it. To others, it was an unfortunate misrepresentation of the evidence because it suggests that Jull ignored recent literature on the subject. The cotton evidence is very meaningful.

The presence of cotton fibers is better described as a material intrusion than by the more common term contamination. It is important because the best evidence suggests that it is not present anywhere else than in the sampling area and the adjacent Raes area. And since there was evidence of reweaving including visible clues, madder dye, alum and cotton, then it is reasonable to conclude that there might be newer linen fiber used in reweaving. Cotton may have been used to enable dye to stick to the fiber. Dye was probably used to make newer thread appear yellowed like the older thread. It would have been nice if Jull had acknowledged this as a reasonable possibility.

What specific chemical analysis of the samples was done before carbon dating? Anyone who has read the 2008 article in Chemistry Today, authored by Benford and Marino, knows how important this should have been. Did the labs consider this or even know about existing evidence that suggested that the sampling area was chemically different from the rest of the shroud? Rogers was clear on this matter when he was asked if they were aware of this or simply ignored it.

[I]t doesn’t matter if they ignored it or were unaware of it.  Part of science is to assemble all the pertinent data.  They didn’t even try.

Jull missed an extraordinary opportunity to address this possibility.

Material intrusion is a big problem in carbon dating. Students of radiocarbon dating technology are familiar with classic examples. For instance, it is almost impossible to date a sample from a peat bog when it is a mixture of decayed newer plants that grew (materially intruded) into older decayed plant matter. And there is the known problem of dating snails living in an artesian spring in Nevada. They were found to be “27,000 years old” at the moment of death because their shells were formed from existing ancient bicarbonate (materially intruded) that was depleted of much of its carbon 14.

Not only had Benford and Marino provided a theory, if not proof, that the carbon dating of the shroud was invalid because of material intrusion, they provided a new, surely more famous, example of material intrusion for radiocarbon dating education. Call it an instant classic example. But the lesson is bigger than that. Students and practicing scientists of radiocarbon technology need to wonder how so many scientists didn’t anticipate the problem given that there were ample warning signs at the time. Jull missed an opportunity to address the need for learning from many, many mistakes.

Jull probably had no difficulties publishing his paper in Radiocarbon. The deck was certainly not stacked against him. He is the lab director, now. The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona holds the copyright. Jull in fact is the editor, which makes the paper he coauthored seem less a carefully reviewed scientific paper (was it at all?) and more of an op-ed. This is particularly so since Jull was involved with Arizona’s role in the carbon dating since the beginning.

Categories: Carbon 14 Dating

And then, too, we have two comments from Daveb of Wellington

October 3, 2013 91 comments

More papers on mending

First:

What I find just a little mystifying, is that if it was known that Princess (Duchess) Clothilde of Savoy carried out repairs in the vicinity of the C14 sample site around 1868, why was this not so evident to textile expert Mme Flury-Lemburg who insisted that the cloth was homogenous, and as far as I know is still in denial about the reality of French invisible reweaving?

And then:

imageNote that Benford & Marino in a 2005 paper make a strong case for the French weaving having been commissioned by Margaret of Austria, as a result of a bequest in her will and testament of 1508. Margaret had married Philibert of Savoy in 1501, and Philibert died in 1504, so that Margaret became the Duchess of Savoy. She had an intense interest in tapestries. The paper also offers an explanation for the missing corners of the Shroud cloth, which are otherwise a mystery. Benford and Marino’s investigations led to Ray Rogers examining threads from the sample site, confirming the present of dyes and gum, supporting the argument of reweave.

Here is a link to the 2005 paper presented in Dallas, New Historical Evidence Explaining the “Invisible Patch” in the 1988 C-14 Sample Area of the Turin Shroud by M. Sue Benford and Joseph Marino (pictured above).

And here is another paper from the 2008 Ohio conference, Invisible Mending and the Turin Shroud: Historical and Scientific Evidence by Joseph Marino and M. Sue Benford

Categories: Carbon 14 Dating

An Important and Highly Informative Guest Posting by Paul Maloney

May 25, 2013 191 comments

I’m sorry that I have not been a direct part of the discussion on Dan Porter’s valuable blog. Unfortunately, I have been working for my oldest son in State College, PA and time and resources have not been available to me to conduct extensive research to respond to the many important observations offered by the participants.

On May 18, 2013 Giorgio paid me a great compliment by stating that I was President of ASSIST. I thank him for that kindness but, in fact, I am not now, nor have I ever been the President of ASSIST. That honor belongs to Dr. Frederick T. Zugibe, M.D., Ph. D. who, though now retired from his position as Chief Medical Examiner of Rockland County, New York, is still President of ASSIST. I can see how the error came to be because in my position as General Projects Director of ASSIST I have often been in the public eye, working for ASSIST.

Yannick Clement, also on May 18, listened to my presentation available on Russ Breault’s site (of my paper read at the Columbus, Ohio conference on Aug. 14-17, 2008) and wonders why the findings of Alan Adler, John Brown and Ray Rogers have not been the subject of greater discussion since my presentation hints that such components as those found in the “Raes Corner” may be present throughout the Shroud”. Later, however, he listened again to my presentation and correctly recognized that my view was actually a support for the invisible reweave approach; he goes on to say “It’s important to note that this could also have been caused by the numerous manipulations and the numerous folding and unfolding of the cloth over the centuries—I’m surprise[d] that Maloney did not talked about that possibility in his speech because, in my mind, this is the most probable one.” Actually, while that is a possibility, I don’t think I can place any of these specific scenarios on a sound provable basis. Let me explain: For example, I am not able to present any evidence to show the presence of madder rose “throughout the Shroud”; I only know of just the two STURP sticky tape samples studied by McCrone (i.e., tape 3 AB and 3-CB—both of which came from the dorsal end of the Shroud and over near one of the 1534 patches on the “side-strip” side of the cloth). I still view these examples provided by McCrone as trace contaminants, a point I think McCrone himself was using to show that the Shroud was in an artist’s studio. 3-AB is an off-image tape sample very near the image margin but which cannot be solidly placed on the image area itself. 3-CB, however, apparently is on a blood-flow across the back, just below the 1534 patch also on the “side-strip” side of the cloth. Can any of these "contaminants" be used to prove either McCrone’s point or mine? (Please see the link to the file of the McCrone-adapted photograph at the end of this missive.

My Columbus paper was not a discussion of the “contaminant” problem, but was wholly devoted to discussing the radiocarbon dating problem—especially as the sample(s) taken on April 21, 1988 for testing by 3 laboratories came from the “Raes Corner” area of the Shroud. What was the nature of that corner compared to the nature of the rest of the Shroud? It is, therefore, perhaps appropriate for me to address the broader concept of “contamination”. McCrone gave one interpretation of the madder rose; I offered a different one. However, I cannot scientifically “prove” that either the artist’s studio or the weaver’s workshop is the actual context for demonstrating a scientific concept. The problem is a difficult and knotty one: this is because we need to distinguish between “signal” and “noise” to firmly ascertain the difference between proposed scenarios. The presence of the contaminants–by themselves–may confuse the issues.

Over a period of some seven years, I have been compiling a pictorial atlas of the many kinds of particles and fibers and other trace “contaminants” that can be found on the 26 Max Frei sticky tapes which he took from the image side of the Shroud in October of 1978. This compilation is still in progress–now approaching more than 90 pages. I have taken perhaps some 7000 Kodak transparencies using first an E. Leitz microscope with a camera mounted on top and then a Nikon Optiphot microscope to obtain these views. I wish to emphasize that I have not used any kind of spectrometry or chemical testing to ascertain the physical identity of the individual particles or fibers. I have largely employed the very same techniques as Walter McCrone and Eugenia Nitowski using my own eyes to create a kind of “informal” identification of the material I found. I was never able to “see” anything I thought might be specific evidence of madder rose on linen fibers as a “contaminant”. I did, however, see variously dyed cotton but these may actually have originated from the clothing of visitors who came to see or study the Shroud. Or maybe they were devotees who simply touched a piece of cloth to create what we call a “brandeum” to obtain by transfer the holiness of the Shroud.

Thus, while I suggested the weaver’s workshop in my 2008 Columbus, Ohio paper, I don’t think that is the only possible explanation for such contaminants. Members of STURP took note that the room in which they conducted their 1978 exam of the Shroud had paintings on the walls and ceiling of that room and when trucks trundled by on Turin’s busy streets it was completely plausible to think that tiny particulates drifted down on the cloth surface.

But one should also not forget the important studies of the True Copies marvelously gathered together by the late Don Luigi Fossati and published in Shroud Spectrum International (SSI, no. 12, September 1984, pp. 7-23 and no. 13, December 1984, pp. 23-39) noting that there is documentation that at least 52 True Copies were laid cloth to cloth and image to image on the original. Can the medieval formulae yield to such sloughing off to leave traces on another cloth? The True Copies are clearly paintings and these could have left traces of their pigments on the Turin Shroud. To test this hypothesis, I requested that Dame Isabel Piczek, with the help of Dr. Robert Koehler in Los Angeles (magnanimously arranged for us through the kind efforts of the late Dr. Robert Bucklin) and over a period of several weeks tested various formulae spanning the medieval recipes for pigment mixing (See Theophilus, On Divers Arts, Dover Publications, New York, 1963 [Originally written ca. A.D. 1100]). She took swaths of linen and placed them against dried painted samples and then, using the microscope, determined that–in her words to me in a phone call "They slough off like mad!!!"

I have also attached the McCrone map which he published in "Judgement Day for the Shroud" (p. 79) but my attachment here was actually a scan taken directly from a glossy McCrone sent me. This would give the public a clearer view of (generally) where the two STURP tapes were taken. However, I have not had the time to compare McCrone’s drawings of tape samples superimposed on the Shroud with the actual documentation photographs taken in 1978 by Barrie Schwortz. There may be a problem of interpretive accuracy on the part of McCrone, who simulated the shape of the tapes, with the actual markings of the original sample sites which were indicated by round magnetic markers (laid down by Dr. Tom D’Muhala, I think), not by rectangular "tape-shaped" markers. Moreover, the original tapes were stretched across a clear plastic "rail" by Ray Rogers for transit from Torino to the United States so that the fibers would "hang down" and not be vitiated by the adhesive on the tape. McCrone, however, adhered them directly to microscope cover slips which were then, in turn, taped to a microscope slide, so he could view them with ease beneath his microscope. But the few STURP slides I personally saw showed tape samples which were much shorter (not more than maybe several centimeters in length) than could have been stretched across the plastic rail and I am tempted to believe that someone (McCrone??) actually cut them shorter for convenience of handling. In this process could other extraneous materials have accidently "contaminated" the original STURP samples? Did McCrone conduct this process in a "clean room"? It would be difficult to state unequivocally that this did or did not happen to the STURP slides in McCrone’s possession and, unfortunately, Walter is no longer amongst the living to have him detail his process.

Thus, I think a very profitable study could be made of such “contaminants” and this might be very informative about the past history of the cloth. But at this point in time I am unable to provide a solid scientific footing to “prove” that the trace contaminants bearing madder rose actually came from a weaver’s workshop.

The full size file is at https://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/scan0002.jpg

Regards to all,

Paul

General Projects Director, ASSIST

Dog in this fight or pony in this race?

May 16, 2013 10 comments

clip_image001Because of Colin’s most recent comments about Rogers, bordering on conspiracy theory thinking, I thought it valuable to repost a posting from more than a year ago (January 9, 2012). But before repeating it, let me pull forward one particular paragraph:

Kim Johnson of [ the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry affiliated New Mexicans for Science and Reason] wrote the following in an obituary on Rogers: “He was a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and tried to be an excellent, open minded scientist in all things. In particular, he had no pony in the ‘Shroud of Turin’ horserace, but was terribly interested in making sure that neither proponents nor skeptics let their scientific judgment be clouded by their preconceptions. He just wanted to date and analyze the thing. He died on March 8th from cancer. He was a good man, and tried his best to do honest science.”

And now, déjà vu again: Sciencebod, Do some homework on the Shroud of Turin (Or is Colin having a senior moment?)” Oh, I know, ad hom, ad hom, ad hom:

* * *

imageColinB/sciencebod writes:

Hello again Dan

I keep asking myself how I could have been so misinformed re the date of reweaving on which you corrected me so comprehensively with you references to Margaret of Austria. Might it be because pretty well everything I have come across in reading states that the repairs, including reweaving were indeed carried out AFTER the 1532 fire, regardless of who commissioned them, e,g, this from a Reverend gentleman:

http://ecc-c.org/TurinShroud.aspx

So my original objection still stands – why go to all the trouble of invisible mending, in a corner, when there is massive fire damage elsewhere. In fact, why would anyone even think about mending before the fire, given that an unmended cloth, showing at least some of the ravages of time, would make for a more convincing holy relic…?

Kind regards

PS Have you seen my latest theory re mummified cadavers, like the ones in that Capucin Brno monastery that missus and I gawped at just two or three years ago.

Dear ColinB: You have got to be kidding me. This is how you change your mind, on the basis of one reference on a web page? Some “Reverend gentleman,” you say? Here is what your reverend gentleman says:

Physicist Ray Rogers, prior to his death, uncovered the reason why the Carbon14 tests were invalid. The Shroud had had invisible repairs, carried out by Poor Clare nuns, after the fire in 1532 in the chapel in Chambery, France. The samples for the Carbon14 dating had been taken from the area which was not the original Shroud. . . . Unfortunately, when the sample sites were chosen, the 1532 repairs were not known about and so it was an unfortunate and misleading coincidence that the samples that were tested came from the patch added by the Poor Clare nuns and not the original Shroud. It was therefore to be expected that the 1988 Carbon14 results pointed to a 16th century date.

imageOh, my. You have got to be kidding. Not only is this reverend gentleman wrong, not only does he not know what he is talking about, you are utterly uninformed and naïve. Now these other four reverend gentlemen are holding up the cloth long before the carbon dating. You can see the patches in what is an old painting. Bet they knew!

Rogers, who was a chemist, not a physicist, did not uncover the reason. It was Joseph Marino and Sue Benford.

The fire was on December 4, 1532 in the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry. The shroud was protected by four locks. With the fire going on, Canon Philibert Lambert and two Franciscans summoned the help of a blacksmith to open a grille. By the time they succeeded, a reliquary made by Lievin van Latham to Marguerite of Austria’s specifications had partly melted. The shroud folded inside was scorched and severe holes were formed by molten silver. Chambéry’s Poor Clare nuns repaired the Shroud beginning on April 16, 1534 and finishing on May 2, 1534 not 1532 as the reverend gentleman says. The nuns knew. From that day forward, the repairs were the most prominent feature of the shroud, more so than the faint image. To suggest that the 1534 (let’s be accurate) repairs “were not known about and so it was an unfortunate and misleading coincidence,” at the time of the carbon dating sampling is just laughable. In fact, if anything, the carbon dating protocol discussions frequently referred to the patches sewn on by the Poor Clare sisters.

Patches applied to the shroud in 1534 were obvious; as noticeable as leather patches sewn to the elbows of an old sweater. Would earlier repairs in 1531 (a plausible date from the historical records) or at any other time, have been so expertly done that that they would have gone unnoticed when the carbon 14 samples were cut from the cloth?

Rogers was actually very skeptical. According to Philip Ball of Nature, “Rogers thought that he would be able to ‘disprove [the] theory in five minutes.’” (brackets are Ball’s). Inside the Vatican, an independent journal on Vatican affairs, reported:

Rogers, who usually viewed attempts to invalidate the 1988 study as ‘ludicrous’ . . . set out to show their [Benford and Marino] claim was wrong, but in the process, he discovered they were correct.

It was close examination of actual material from the shroud that caused Rogers to begin to change his mind. In 2002, Rogers, in collaboration with Anna Arnoldi of the University of Milan, wrote a paper arguing that the repair was a very real possibility. The material Rogers examined was from an area directly adjacent to the carbon 14 sample, an area known as the Raes corner. Rogers found a spliced thread. This was unexpected and inexplicable. During weaving of the shroud, when a new length of thread was introduced to the loom, the weavers had simply laid it in next to the previous length rather than splicing. Rogers and Arnoldi wrote:

[The thread] shows distinct encrustation and color on one end, but the other end is nearly white . . . Fibers have popped out of the central part of the thread, and the fibers from the two ends point in opposite directions. This section of yarn is obviously an end-to-end splice of two different batches of yarn. No splices of this type were observed in the main part of the Shroud.

Rogers found alizarin, a dye produced from Madder root. The dye appeared to have been used to match new thread to older age-yellowed thread. In addition to the dye, Rogers found a gum substance (possibly gum Arabic) and alum, a common mordant used in medieval dying.

Several years earlier, a textile expert, Gilbert Raes (for whom the Raes corner is named), had been permitted to cut away a small fragment of the shroud. In it he found cotton fibers. Rogers confirmed the existence of embedded cotton fibers and noted that such cotton fibers are not found in other samples from anywhere else on the shroud. Cotton fibers were sometimes incorporated into linen threads during later medieval times, but not earlier, and not even as early as the carbon 14 range of dates. This, along with the dyestuff, suggested some sort of alteration or disguised mending.

In 2005, Raymond Rogers, after four years of study on this matter and months of peer review published his findings in the scientific journal, Thermochimica Acta. Go read it. Go study the real history of the shroud and shroud research. Find out how many scientists have confirmed the work Benford and Marino started and Rogers completed.

BTW: Ray Rogers, a distinguished chemist, was a Fellow of the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Originally, the home of the Manhattan Project during World War II. It is now part of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Rogers had been a charter member of the Coalition for Excellence in Science Education in New Mexico. He campaigned vigorously for the teaching of evolution, and against teaching creationism, in the public schools.

He also served on the Department of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board as a civilian with the rank equivalency of Lieutenant General. He had published over fifty scientific papers in ethical peer-reviewed science journals. He was a member of New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR), an organization affiliated with CSI.

Kim Johnson of NMSR wrote the following in an obituary on Rogers: “He was a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and tried to be an excellent, open minded scientist in all things. In particular, he had no pony in the ‘Shroud of Turin’ horserace, but was terribly interested in making sure that neither proponents nor skeptics let their scientific judgment be clouded by their preconceptions. He just wanted to date and analyze the thing. He died on March 8th from cancer. He was a good man, and tried his best to do honest science.”

Rogers once wrote to The Skeptical Inquirer (letter was published):

I accepted the radiocarbon results, and I believed that the "invisible reweave" claim was highly improbable. I used my samples to test it. One of the greatest embarrassments a scientist can face is to have to agree with the lunatic fringe.

Colin, you tell me you are a real scientist. Then you change your mind because you read something on the web page of a reverend gentleman without checking it out. Are you a real scientist? I’ll believe you when you admit you are wrong on the patches.

Oh, that “latest theory re mummified cadavers.” You don’t mean theory Mr. Scientist. Really. Check out the facts about the images. Really. You might want to read Giulio Fanti’s, “Hypotheses Regarding the Formation of the Body Image on the Turin Shroud. A Critical Compendium,” in The Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, (Vol. 55, No. 6 060507-1–060507-14, 2011). It is a marginal paper but it does nicely summarize what many people before you have tried with a bit more science. There is a handy list that might allow you to call your wild-ass speculation a hypothesis (not theory, though) if you can meet some of the criteria.

Do some real home work.

Savage Treatment in Randi Land

July 27, 2012 11 comments

imageRich Savage, a friend of this blog, has been spending time over at the Randi forums (of the James Randi Educational Foundation – that’s magician The Amazing Randi – pictured here –paranormal investigator and Joe Nickell mentor) on a Shroud of Turin discussion thread that has grown to some 2456 comments as of this morning. Here is the latest comment, as an example. Jabba, mentioned in this comment, is our friend Rich doing a sort of David facing Goliath and an entire army:

I notice Jabba has left out the fact that there is no proof whatsoever of the provenance of the threads Rogers tested in his kitchen. Dinwar rightly presses this point but Jabba seems to ignore it completely in the summing up.

We’re still waiting for some reason to imagine there is an invisible weave in the TS. It seems incredible Jabba would think the presence of such a patch would have escaped notice in the 2002 restoration of the TS.

Rich writes:

Over on the Randi forum
(http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=226761&page=59), we’re focusing on the possibility of an “invisible reweave” – I’ve given that as my best guess as to explaining the results of the carbon dating.  Is that still your best guess?

Anyway, of my 60 or so opponents over there, I’ve finally run into a friendly and rational one — “davefoc”  – and he’s provided a lot of reasonable reservations and questions re the re-weaving hypothesis over there, and I’d like to give him our best answers.

At the moment, we’re discussing the apparent fact that the calcium, iron and strontium contents of the Raes sample are roughly identical to that of the larger Shroud.  Here’s what I’ve said so far.

  • So far, at least, I haven’t been able to find an obvious explanation…
  • Apparently, everyone accepts that these elements are introduced by the
    “retting,” — and wherever and whenever the linen was retted, it would
    contain these elements as “trace elements.”  However, the amount of these
    elements present should be somewhat different if one set was from 1st
    century Mideast, and the other, 16th century Europe.
  • Accepting — for the moment at least — that the two sets are “roughly
    identical,” how different SHOULD they be, and how different ARE they?  You
    and I don’t know.
  • So far, I give the advantage on this “sub-issue” (round?) to your side
    (the dating validity side), but I’m still looking…

How would you answer that question –, and/or, can we ask that question of your audience?

I have a list of other serious reservations and questions from davefoc, but need to paraphrase them better.  I can provide those if you can use them.

Sciencebod, Do some homework on the Shroud of Turin

January 9, 2012 12 comments

imageColinB/sciencebod writes:

Hello again Dan

I keep asking myself how I could have been so misinformed re the date of reweaving on which you corrected me so comprehensively with you references to Margaret of Austria. Might it be because pretty well everything I have come across in reading states that the repairs, including reweaving were indeed carried out AFTER the 1532 fire, regardless of who commissioned them, e,g, this from a Reverend gentleman:

http://ecc-c.org/TurinShroud.aspx

So my original objection still stands – why go to all the trouble of invisible mending, in a corner, when there is massive fire damage elsewhere. In fact, why would anyone even think about mending before the fire, given that an unmended cloth, showing at least some of the ravages of time, would make for a more convincing holy relic…?

Kind regards

PS Have you seen my latest theory re mummified cadavers, like the ones in that Capucin Brno monastery that missus and I gawped at just two or three years ago.

Dear ColinB: You have got to be kidding me. This is how you change your mind, on the basis of one reference on a web page? Some “Reverend gentleman,” you say?  Here is what your reverend gentleman says:

Physicist Ray Rogers, prior to his death, uncovered the reason why the Carbon14 tests were invalid. The Shroud had had invisible repairs, carried out by Poor Clare nuns, after the fire in 1532 in the chapel in Chambery, France. The samples for the Carbon14 dating had been taken from the area which was not the original Shroud. . . . Unfortunately, when the sample sites were chosen, the 1532 repairs were not known about and so it was an unfortunate and misleading coincidence that the samples that were tested came from the patch added by the Poor Clare nuns and not the original Shroud. It was therefore to be expected that the 1988 Carbon14 results pointed to a 16th century date.

imageOh, my. You have got to be kidding. Not only is this reverend gentleman wrong, not only does he not know what he is talking about, you are utterly uninformed and naïve. Now these other four reverend gentlemen are holding up the cloth long before the carbon dating. You can see the patches in what is an old painting. Bet they knew!

Rogers, who was a chemist, not a physicist, did not uncover the reason. It was Joseph Marino and Sue Benford.

The fire was on December 4, 1532 in the Sainte Chapelle, Chambéry. The shroud was protected by four locks. With the fire going on, Canon Philibert Lambert and two Franciscans summoned the help of a blacksmith to open a grille. By the time they succeeded, a reliquary made by Lievin van Latham to Marguerite of Austria’s specifications had partly melted. The shroud folded inside was scorched and severe holes were formed by molten silver. Chambéry’s Poor Clare nuns repaired the Shroud beginning on April 16, 1534 and finishing on May 2, 1534 not 1532 as the reverend gentleman says. The nuns knew. From that day forward, the repairs were the most prominent feature of the shroud, more so than the faint image. To suggest that the 1534 (let’s be accurate) repairs “were not known about and so it was an unfortunate and misleading coincidence,” at the time of the carbon dating sampling is just laughable. In fact, if anything, the carbon dating protocol discussions frequently referred to the patches sewn on by the Poor Clare sisters.

Patches applied to the shroud in 1534 were obvious; as noticeable as leather patches sewn to the elbows of an old sweater. Would earlier repairs in 1531 (a plausible date from the historical records) or at any other time, have been so expertly done that that they would have gone unnoticed when the carbon 14 samples were cut from the cloth?

Rogers was actually very skeptical. According to Philip Ball of Nature, “Rogers thought that he would be able to ‘disprove [the] theory in five minutes.’” (brackets are Ball’s). Inside the Vatican, an independent journal on Vatican affairs, reported:

Rogers, who usually viewed attempts to invalidate the 1988 study as ‘ludicrous’ . . . set out to show their [Benford and Marino] claim was wrong, but in the process, he discovered they were correct.

It was close examination of actual material from the shroud that caused Rogers to begin to change his mind. In 2002, Rogers, in collaboration with Anna Arnoldi of the University of Milan, wrote a paper arguing that the repair was a very real possibility. The material Rogers examined was from an area directly adjacent to the carbon 14 sample, an area known as the Raes corner. Rogers found a spliced thread. This was unexpected and inexplicable. During weaving of the shroud, when a new length of thread was introduced to the loom, the weavers had simply laid it in next to the previous length rather than splicing. Rogers and Arnoldi wrote:

[The thread] shows distinct encrustation and color on one end, but the other end is nearly white . . . Fibers have popped out of the central part of the thread, and the fibers from the two ends point in opposite directions. This section of yarn is obviously an end-to-end splice of two different batches of yarn. No splices of this type were observed in the main part of the Shroud.

Rogers found alizarin, a dye produced from Madder root. The dye appeared to have been used to match new thread to older age-yellowed thread. In addition to the dye, Rogers found a gum substance (possibly gum Arabic) and alum, a common mordant used in medieval dying.

Several years earlier, a textile expert, Gilbert Raes (for whom the Raes corner is named), had been permitted to cut away a small fragment of the shroud. In it he found cotton fibers. Rogers confirmed the existence of embedded cotton fibers and noted that such cotton fibers are not found in other samples from anywhere else on the shroud. Cotton fibers were sometimes incorporated into linen threads during later medieval times, but not earlier, and not even as early as the carbon 14 range of dates. This, along with the dyestuff, suggested some sort of alteration or disguised mending.

In 2005, Raymond Rogers, after four years of study on this matter and months of peer review published his findings in the scientific journal, Thermochimica Acta. Go read it. Go study the real history of the shroud and shroud research. Find out how many scientists have confirmed the work Benford and Marino started and Rogers completed.  

BTW: Ray Rogers, a distinguished chemist, was a Fellow of the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Originally, the home of the Manhattan Project during World War II. It is now part of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Rogers had been a charter member of the Coalition for Excellence in Science Education in New Mexico. He campaigned vigorously for the teaching of evolution, and against teaching creationism, in the public schools.

He also served on the Department of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board as a civilian with the rank equivalency of Lieutenant General. He had published over fifty scientific papers in ethical peer-reviewed science journals. He was a member of New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR), an organization affiliated with CSI.

Kim Johnson of NMSR wrote the following in an obituary on Rogers: “He was a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and tried to be an excellent, open minded scientist in all things. In particular, he had no pony in the ‘Shroud of Turin’ horserace, but was terribly interested in making sure that neither proponents nor skeptics let their scientific judgment be clouded by their preconceptions. He just wanted to date and analyze the thing. He died on March 8th from cancer. He was a good man, and tried his best to do honest science.”

Rogers once wrote to The Skeptical Inquirer (letter was published):

I accepted the radiocarbon results, and I believed that the "invisible reweave" claim was highly improbable. I used my samples to test it. One of the greatest embarrassments a scientist can face is to have to agree with the lunatic fringe.

Colin, you tell me you are a real scientist. Then you change your mind because you read something on the web page of a reverend gentleman without checking it out. Are you a real scientist? I’ll believe you when you admit you are wrong on the patches.

Oh, that “latest theory re mummified cadavers.” You don’t mean theory Mr. Scientist. Really. Check out the facts about the images. Really. You might want to read Giulio Fanti’s, “Hypotheses Regarding the Formation of the Body Image on the Turin Shroud. A Critical Compendium,” in The Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, (Vol. 55, No. 6 060507-1–060507-14, 2011). It is a marginal paper but it does nicely summarize what many people before you have tried with a bit more science. There is a handy list that might allow you to call your wild-ass speculation a hypothesis (not theory, though) if you can meet some of the criteria.

Do some real home work.

Categories: Other Blogs, Science

What will 2012 bring in the world of Shroud of Turin studies?

January 1, 2012 3 comments

imageRuss Breault writes:

It has been a long road since October of 1988 when the Shroud was relegated to being just another phony relic, the work of some medieval scam artist. Since that time doubtful historians have dug deep and hit the pay dirt needed to show something was awry with the alleged carbon date of 1260 to 1390. The Hungarian Pray Manuscript proved beyond doubt that the Shroud was indeed in Constantinople in 1204 and was seen there by the artist between 1160 and 1170, a full 100 years before the oldest carbon date. It doesn’t prove the Shroud is First Century but it does prove the carbon date is in error. Ray Rogers with the help of Joe Marino and Sue Benford gave us a plausible clue as to what went wrong. Was that controversial corner, the only sample location taken in 1988, somehow effected by the introduction of newer threads to make a repair? All the ingredients of such a reweave appear to be evident, madder root dye, starch, and cotton. Does it prove it was in fact rewoven? No. But given that that specific corner is the most handled area of the Shroud, grabbed and held at precisely that location during dozens of public exhibitions gives one pause to wonder if the authorities involved were even interested in getting an accurate date in the first place. You couldn’t pick a worse location. In order to know for sure what went wrong, we need direct access to the cloth once again to truly assess what may have happened. To date, no such access has been granted. Now enter the ENEA, an Italian group of scientists. Working with lasers for five years they were able to replicate both the coloration (looks like a scorch but isn’t because it doesn’t fluoresce as do the burns in UV light) and the extreme superficiality of the image (less than 1/1000th of a millimeter in depth). This is a significant breakthrough because it establishes for the first time ever that light could have been a factor in creating the Shroud image. Until now all such experiments with light, heat or radiation have failed to meet these two significant criteria. Does it prove anything? No. But it at least establishes with scientific plausibility that light was somehow involved with the image. What will 2012 bring besides the end of the Mayan calendar? Perhaps a new round of tests will finally be authorized. Until then, the Shroud remains the greatest unsolved mystery in the world and one that I am deeply gratified to have studied and lectured on for over 30 years. My interest has never waned because I am gripped with the prospects of possibility. Perhaps the Shroud will never be proven authentic to the satisfaction of scientific scrutiny, yet I remain satisfied that even the possibility of it being authentic is astounding. If it was an obvious hoax or artwork, we would have figured that out a long time ago. Happy New Year!

Russ Breault

Categories: News & Views

KC’s Science-Based Life and the Shroud of Turin

May 12, 2011 3 comments

A reader writes:

imageYou are right, Kyle (I guess he prefers KC) has created an excellent website emphasizing skepticism. If I may be permitted to offer a criticism of this young man’s work it is that his website preaches too much to the choir (we Christians know that problem all too well). Science-Based Life is in danger of becoming just another ‘science is cool’ and ‘skepticism is cool’ website, albeit better written and better organized than many.

Now that he has said he will, KC has a chance to significantly break away from the pack by taking on the authenticity of the shroud. He can do so only with a fresh approach. If he parrots Joe Nickell or focuses only on the CSI (formerly CSICOP) material he will flounder. Nickell was KO’d when Skeptical Inquirer offered Ray Rogers the privilege of writing a letter to the editor to refute a Nickell article in the same issue (Volume 29.3, May / June 2005) in which it was published. KC should start with that letter to gain some perspective.

I think KC should then read the whole of Ray Rogers’ FAQ. It should take him the better part of an hour to absorb. He should remember that Rogers, like him, was skeptical of the shroud’s authenticity after the carbon dating results were published in Nature.

The lack of worthy, truly scientifically-minded skeptics, since 2005, has been disappointing. We, who think the shroud is real, need to be better challenged.

Click the ‘Read More’ tag below for a copy of the Letter to the Editor.

Links to the FAQ are below as well.

BTW: Ray Rogers, a distinguished chemist, was a Fellow of the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Originally, the home of the Manhattan Project during World War II. It is now part of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Rogers had been a charter member of the Coalition for Excellence in Science Education in New Mexico. He campaigned vigorously for the teaching of evolution, and against teaching creationism, in the public schools.

He also served on the Department of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board as a civilian with the rank equivalency of Lieutenant General. He had published over fifty scientific papers in ethical peer-reviewed science journals. He was a member of New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR), an organization affiliated with CSI. 

imageKim Johnson of NMSR wrote the following in an obituary on Rogers: “He was a Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and tried to be an excellent, open minded scientist in all things. In particular, he had no pony in the ‘Shroud of Turin’ horserace, but was terribly interested in making sure that neither proponents nor skeptics let their scientific judgment be clouded by their preconceptions. He just wanted to date and analyze the thing. He died on March 8th from cancer. He was a good man, and tried his best to do honest science.

Here is the Rogers FAQ on the web:

Click the ‘Read More’ tag below for a copy of the Letter to the Editor.

Read more…

Joe Marino, Sue Benford and the Carbon Dating of the Shroud of Turin

January 19, 2011 6 comments

Joe Marino writes:

imageWhen Sue Benford and I submitted to Radiocarbon in 2001 our paper on the 16th century patch (a.k.a. invisible reweave), we were told who the reviewers were:

*Paul Damon, head of the U. of Arizona laboratory

*Jacque Evin, French C-14 expert present at the 1988 sample-taking

*Gabrial Vial, French textile expert present at the 1988 sample-taking

*Franco Testore, Italian French textile expert present at the 1988 sample-taking

*Harry Gove, inventor of the C-14 method, who had literally bet a companion that the Shroud was medieval and was heavily involved in various aspects of the dating, including working to keep STURP from being involved in any testing

Do you think the deck was stacked against us?

Yes! But Benford and Marino prevailed. Big time!

What Joe Marino and Sue Benford accomplished is monumental. They proposed that the material used for carbon dating was from an area of the shroud that had been mended using a process called invisible reweaving. Of course, as everyone involved in shroud research now knows, Ray Rogers, a Los Alamos chemist, doubted they were right. According to Nature’s Philip Ball, “Rogers thought that he would be able to ‘disprove [the] theory in five minutes.’” (brackets are Ball’s). Inside the Vatican, an independent journal on Vatican affairs, reported:

imageRogers, who usually viewed attempts to invalidate the 1988 study as ‘ludicrous’ . . . set out to show their [Benford and Marino] claim was wrong, but in the process, he discovered they were correct.

Ludicrous was a mild way of putting it. Rogers words were stronger. He thought of the two researchers as part of a lunatic fringe. In the end, however, Rogers proved himself wrong. And he was honest and bold enough to admit it. In a letter to the editor of the Skeptical Inquirer magazine he wrote:

I accepted the radiocarbon results, and I believed that the "invisible reweave" claim was highly improbable. I used my samples to test it. One of the greatest embarrassments a scientist can face is to have to agree with the lunatic fringe.

It would have been nice to see something similar from Timothy Jull in the recent paper he coauthored with Rachel Freer-Waters. Granted, he did not think that he found corroborating evidence in support of Marino and Benford. By simply accepting the presence of cotton fibers by saying that Gilbert Raes had found cotton, too, he sent a clear, unintended signal to everyone who understood Marino, Benford and Rogers that he didn’t get it. To others, it was an unfortunate misrepresentation of the evidence because it suggests that Jull ignored recent literature on the subject. The cotton evidence is very meaningful.

The presence of cotton fibers is better described as a material intrusion than by the more common term contamination. It is important because the best evidence suggests that it is not present anywhere else than in the sampling area and the adjacent Raes area. And since there was evidence of reweaving including visible clues, madder dye, alum and cotton, then it is reasonable to conclude that there might be newer linen fiber used in reweaving. Cotton may have been used to enable dye to stick to the fiber. Dye was probably used to make newer thread appear yellowed like the older thread. It would have been nice if Jull had acknowledged this as a reasonable possibility.

What specific chemical analysis of the samples was done before carbon dating? Anyone who has read the 2008 article in Chemistry Today, authored by Benford and Marino, knows how important this should have been. Did the labs consider this or even know about existing evidence that suggested that the sampling area was chemically different from the rest of the shroud? Rogers was clear on this matter when he was asked if they were aware of this or simply ignored it.

[I]t doesn’t matter if they ignored it or were unaware of it.  Part of science is to assemble all the pertinent data.  They didn’t even try.

Jull missed an extraordinary opportunity to address this possibility.

Material intrusion is a big problem in carbon dating. Students of radiocarbon dating technology are familiar with classic examples. For instance, it is almost impossible to date a sample from a peat bog when it is a mixture of decayed newer plants that grew (materially intruded) into older decayed plant matter. And there is the known problem of dating snails living in an artesian spring in Nevada. They were found to be “27,000 years old” at the moment of death because their shells were formed from existing ancient bicarbonate (materially intruded) that was depleted of much of its carbon 14.

Not only had Benford and Marino provided a theory, if not proof, that the carbon dating of the shroud was invalid because of material intrusion, they provided a new, surely more famous, example of material intrusion for radiocarbon dating education. Call it an instant classic example. But the lesson is bigger than that. Students and practicing scientists of radiocarbon technology need to wonder how so many scientists didn’t anticipate the problem given that there were ample warning signs at the time. Jull missed an opportunity to address the need for learning from many, many mistakes.

Jull probably had no difficulties publishing his paper in Radiocarbon. The deck was certainly not stacked against him. He is the lab director, now. The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona holds the copyright. Jull in fact is the editor, which makes the paper he coauthored seem less a carefully reviewed scientific paper (was it at all?) and more of an op-ed. This is particularly so since Jull was involved with Arizona’s role in the carbon dating since the beginning.

Even More on Suspicious University of Arizona Testing of the Shroud « Shroud of Turin Blog

Pellegrino on Shroud and Tomb

September 18, 2008 Comments off

Fascinating post here:

More details are above and on other threads in this discussion group, related to the Talpiot Tomb. At this point, given the unique biological anomalies in fiber traces recovered from Jesus ossuary bio-concretions – (all consistent with the Turin fibers), and other evidence including consistent patina fingerprint, and a tentative date on one fiber collected on sticky tape from the Turin Shroud (bracketing 1st century AD) – to say nothing of the fact that that I would never have accepted the cuts for the C-14 tests allowed by Cardinal Pellegrino over 20 years ago (too many recorded cuts and reweaves during the past 400 years, in the permitted sampling corner) – I’m willing to give it a maximum probability ceiling of 50%, that the Turin Shroud (regardless of whether or not the image of the Turin man is a Medieval artistic enhancement over the blood stains), is real and is original with the Jesus ossuary.

Much more data is required, to either negate or confirm this. One random fiber that seems to date, by C-14, from the right period (the shroud being consistent with wool weaves from another Jerusalem tomb and with flax herringbone weaves from Masada fabric) has my attention. Very well, then. What we await is permission to date ten more fibers from random points on the Turin Shroud, along with some blood stained fibers to see if mtDNA can be recovered and matches mtDNA from the Jesus ossuary bio-concretions. Jesiuts and Franciscans, by the way, have been extremely supportive and helpful, during the past year, with research on the Talpiot Tomb and apocrypha related to it. Also on Turin.

By the way: in answer to lies that the drive-by Media machines have told you (and by this I refer, among others, to the inventor of the term, “drive-by media,” Rush Limbaugh):

Item: Most Americans believe that we scientists claimed to have found bones in the Jesus Ossuary (and a quote that someone created, originally, as a joke was falsely attributed to me: “Bones of Jesus found. Easter canceled”). In fact, I not only failed to find a trace of bone in the Jesus ossuary bio-concretions; but all fiber evidence is counter-indicative of decay products from a process of primary burial and decay. The only bone fragment recovered from a bio-concretion in this ossuary is consistent (based on extreme hemispherical curvature) with a metacarpal. Even if only coincidentally consistent with the blood image evidence of metacarpals popped loose from the Turin Man’s wrists like wisdom teeth, it is nonetheless hauntingly consistent with what crucifixion would have left behind (blood, skin, and metacarpals). The one definitive conclusion I am willing to stand by is that the Jesus ossuary was missing skeletal remains decayed from a body. That is, we are missing a body and all that appears to have been laid in the ossuary in the first place are two shrouds of unusual composition – again, one of them uniquely consistent with the Turin fabric (flax woven on a loom contaminated with cotton – and which has remained mysteriously un-invaded by black mold, and unoxidized, and supple).

Read the full posting: Crowlspace » Pellegrino on Shroud and Tomb

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