And, as I see it . . . the word distance and the word body are both at issue.
Can we go on saying that no one has figured out how the image was formed
and at the same time objectively refer to cloth-to-body distance?
I applaud Colin Berry’s attempt at helping to define the image:
Getting the right words to describe the Shroud image into the media and public domain has acquired a new urgency of late, given the recent claims that attempt to undo decades of research. I refer to historian Charles Freeman’s claim that the TS is merely an age-degraded painting. I’ve said quite a lot on that score already elsewhere, as indeed have others, and have little more to add, except to say that Mr. Freeman needs to get up to speed with Shroud science, and disabuse himself of the idea that it’s all about art history. The TS is arguably NOT about art. It’s an artefact, intended for purposes other than mere artistic expression. Works of art do not generally result in the issue of Pilgrims’ Badges (Lirey, France, circa 1357).
However, thanks to the robotic and mindless Google algorithm, Charles’s misguided notions will no doubt survive for a while, at least on the internet. It’s no longer sufficient in this blogger’s view to continue describing the TS as a "faint image". That is too non-specific and makes it too easy for CF to peddle his antediluvian views (if STURP can be thought of as supplying a flood of new information). "Faint image" or even faint NEGATIVE image simply does not do the business (CF having closed his eyes completely to the implications of the tone-reversal implied by the descriptor "negative"). No, we need new updated terminology that makes it clear that the TS is not just any old "faint image", but one with very special, indeed unique properties that sets it apart from other pictorial representations of the human form. While that terminology cannot and must not attempt to impose a new orthodoxy regarding mechanism, actual or conjectural, it is entitled in my view to guide thinking in the right direction, while leaving key details unspecified.
So what is that terminology to be?
One has to be neither pro- nor anti-authenticity to regard the TS image as an IMPRINT.
Definition of "imprint" (noun): Free Dictionary:
1. a mark or indentation impressed on something.
2. any impression or impressed effect.
And it is life-sized front and back, negative and contains seemingly 3D properties, Colin goes on to remind us.
Colin goes on to examine the definition issue from the point of view of a quote from a paper by Barrie Schwortz, Is the Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph?: A critical examination of the theory. That paragraph reads:
The STURP team concluded that there was a correlation between the density (or darkness) of the image on the Shroud and the distance the cloth was from the body at the time the image was formed. The researchers calculated that the image on the Shroud was formed at a cloth-to-body distance of up to approximately 4 centimeters, but beyond that, imaging did not occur. The closer the cloth was to the body, the darker the resulting image in that area, with the darkest parts of the image being formed where there was direct contact between the two. The image became proportionately lighter as the distance increased until it reached the maximum imaging distance. . . .
To which Colin responds:
Left to me I would have described the TS image as probably, indeed almost certainly a CONTACT imprint, such as can be modelled with hot templates. But the view exists, articulated above, and emanating in main from STURP physicist John Jackson PhD, that the TS image is not contact-only, but from modelling studies (at any rate) appears to allow imaging across modest air gaps that do not exceed approx 4cm. Personally, I think that latitude in allowing an air gap is a defect of the presumed imaging model, one that assumes a linen cloth spread loosely over a real corpse, and making only partial contact under gravity. That’s a pro-authenticity scenario.
Forget that! The issue isn’t pro-authenticity. The issue is taking a leap too far making an observation into a theory. Consider what adding a short phrase does.
. . . there was a correlation between the density (or darkness) of the image on the Shroud and
the [what might have been] distance the cloth was from the body at the time the image was formed. . . .
Colin’s take is just as correct:
Let’s not prejudge who is right, who is wrong. Let’s assume that all that’s required is close proximity between a body and/or inanimate template that tolerates air gaps up to 4cm.
So the word distance and the word body are both at issue. Can we go on saying that no one has figured out how the image was formed and at the same time objectively refer to cloth-to-body distance?
Colin’s caveat is fair:
Caveat: I’ve tried to be inclusive here, allowing for the possibility that the image to have been produced by a burst of radiation (unspecified, see critique by the estimable Bernard Power ), and able to operate across air gaps. Without attempting to read the minds of ‘resurrection radiationists’, whether it’s electromagnetic radiation or even wackier subatomic particles – notably neutrons- that are proposed, might they consider the term "imprint", even modified with "proximity" as a potential poisoned chalice? Well, I’ve given a little thought to that, and followed up with some googling. What do I find? Those ‘radiationist’ ideas have already filtered through to the mainstream media under the heading "imprints".
Of course, I’ve ignored Colin’s main point. We should stop calling the faint image on the shroud a faint image. We make it to easy for the likes of Charles Freeman.
We should call it a proximity imprint, he tells us.
No! Four syllables followed by two is a leap to far. Remember, we are talking about the problems of a “robotic and mindless Google algorithm.”
BTW: I Googled “Faint Image.” Not one picture of the shroud! Most images were of people who had fainted.
Do read Colin’s entire posting.