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Teaser of the Day (#6): There are no stars in the sky

February 6, 2013 5 comments

clip_image001What is right or wrong with this material from The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer.

Table I, Item 5.1:

Compared to the frontal image, there is no double superficiality of the dorsal or back image.

Scored: Established

Comment:

An image formation hypothesis that is able to account for a frontal double superficiality of the face must also be consistent with there being no dorsal double superficiality..

Really? Can we say this? Do we know? We can barely see some image on the reverse side of the cloth for the ventral image. How do we know it wasn’t there for the dorsal image, only too faint to see with the methods used? Is it like saying at mid-morning that there are no stars in the sky? Might we say, “I think I don’t see.”

Categories: Teaser of the Day

Teaser of the Day (#5): Double Superficiality Expialidocious

February 5, 2013 9 comments

imageWhat is right or wrong with this material from page 9 of The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer.

Table I, Item 5.0:

The front image, at least in correspondence of the face, is doubly superficial. This means that the 0.34-mm thick fabric presents a superficial image on one side (about 0.03 mm thick), no image in the middle, and another superficial image on the other side.

Scored: Established

Comment:

This double superficial image of the face was discovered when the Shroud backing cloth was removed during the 2002 preservation project. This double superficiality is highly significant in relation to the viability of competing image formation hypotheses.

Is this “Established?”  Really? It is interesting to note that the Valencia consensus omits this fact. Why?

Be sure to read Mario Latendresse’s review of The double superficiality of the frontal image of the Turin Shroud by Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo (PDF)

And because we know where Siefker and Spicer are going in this paper, it is fun to consider the fact that Ray Rogers wrote:

When a cloth is dried on a line, impurities concentrate on both evaporating surfaces; however, more impurities will deposit on whichever surface dries faster. Any concentration of impurities can take part in the image-formation reactions. This can explain the "doubly ­superficial" image.

BTW: I really do think I see it. I know. I know. I think I see.

Categories: Teaser of the Day

Teaser of the Day (#4): Body image in noncontact zones?

February 4, 2013 10 comments

clip_image001What is right or wrong with this material from page 9 of The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer.

Image pirated from Colin Berry, complete with the yellow exclamation mark.

Table I, Item 4.0:

A body image is visible in areas of noncontact zones between body and Shroud, for example, the nose and cheek areas.

Scored: Established

Comment:

This characteristic is inconsistent with the image being formed by a contact mechanism.

Yeah! And? Any strong objections to this point other than from Colin and those who propose photographic methods and those who propose artistic methods and maybe Luigi Garlaschelli?

Hearing none . . .

Categories: Teaser of the Day

Teaser of the Day (#3): Why many state that the Shroud is a 3D image

February 2, 2013 9 comments

What is right or wrong with this material from page 9 of The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer.

Table I, Item 3.0:

The luminance distribution of both front and back images can be correlated to the clearances between the three-dimensional surface of the body and a covering cloth. This is why many state that the Shroud is a 3D image.

Scored: Established

Comment:

imageThe variation in the image density has been analyzed mathematically to render a high resolution 3-dimensional body image.

While a photograph can be either a positive or a negative, there is no correlation in a photograph between the density of the imprint and the distance to the object. Uniquely, the image on the shroud appears denser in the areas where the vertical distance to the body from the cloth surface would logically be shorter. This allows the use of a simple mathematical function to recover the 3-dimensional information about the body. The 3-D characteristics present on the Shroud cannot be recovered with any normal reflected light photograph or painting.

As with the previous items, we are being forced to think of this only in terms of a cloth covering a body. While this may be the case, this is an assumption and not an image characteristic. It should be avoided.

A better way to describe this is to use accepted terminology from the world of three-dimensional graphics. The image is a height-field or height-map.

Smoke ring height fieldSmoke ring plotted as craterWith a VP8 Image Analyzer or newer computer software (POV Ray, ImageJ, etc.), the gray scale values at many xy points in the height-field to the left are plotted as elevation or terrain.

The software uses several variables including an altitude scale, a viewing angle and a virtual light source to enable us to visualize the shape.

Face as height fieldFace plottedThe same software with the same viewing angles and artificial lighting produces the apparent elevation in the face. This is true for the entire body of the man imaged on the Shroud of Turin.

It is important to note, as
Siefker and Spicer state, a normal photograph or a painting is a representation of reflected light as detected by a camera or perceived from an artists viewing position. 

There is no useful relationship between the gray scale values in a normal painting or photograph and spatial distance as found in height-fields.

imageVirtual reality and gaming software regularly uses similar height-field images (above left) to produce realistic landscapes. NASA uses them to generate 3D surface representations of the moon and planets. Those height-fields are created by radar and lasers. Google Earth software makes 3D renderings of our planet the same way. NOAA produces 3D images of hurricanes from radar data represented in height-fields. Height-fields are regularly used in new-generation 3D ultrasound sonograms.

Note: Height-field is a convenient term. Gray scale values found in such a dataset are applicable for both vertical and horizontal plots.

Here is an image I prepared using ImageJ. See: Do Your Own VP8-Like 3D Images of the Shroud of Turin

Categories: Teaser of the Day

Gripping Comment Promoted thus expanding Teaser of the Day #2

February 1, 2013 6 comments

imageAfter I partially quoted a comment by Hugh Farey in the previous posting, he commented thus: “The rest of my comment is a gripping read too….”

Gripping? Well . . .  Thanks for the laugh. But the comment, in its entirety, is completely worth reading if you missed it the first time around.

And so we ask again, what is right or wrong with Item 2.0 from page 9 of The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer?

Here is the gripping answer:

Article I.2.0.A. The normal tones are reversed. The normal tones of what? Of body parts? I’m not light on the nose and dark in the cheeks.

Article I.2.0.B.The parts of the body closest to the cloth left the darkest marks. Sorry, but from a critical viewpoint you can’t just assume that a body was present to make the marks.
Parts of the body which would have been closest to the cloth if the image was made by a cloth lying over a body? Sorry, can’t allow that either, as the cloth could have been horizontal or draped or wrapped.

Parts of the body lying closest to a theoretical horizontal plane level with the tip of the nose? Sorry, but you need also to specify if the body was also horizontal. Were the knees, for example, higher off the floor than the nose or not?

Parts of the body which would have been closest to a horizontal plane level with the tips of the knees assuming that the body was lying in a slightly knees-up position with the head also slightly raised? Er, no, as the head and particularly the nose is generally assumed to be the darkest area, and the knees would be much more prominent than the hands, for example.
Parts of the body which would have been closest to the cloth if the cloth had been draped over the body? Back of the head? Sides of the hair? Sorry.

Parts of the body which would have been closest to the cloth if the image was made by a cloth lying over a body which draped naturally from head to toe but not at all from side to side? Rather like unrolling a carpet or Venetian blind over the body? I think we may be getting there…

Article I.2.0.C. The image has the characteristics of a photographic negative. Of a monochrome photograph of a person taken full face with a light source directly in front and a black background. Although we are often told that real photographs of people under just those conditions do not look like the shroud, as the 3D image derived from them is unconvincing. If this is true, the shroud does not have all the characteristics of a photographic negative. I concede that it does have some; rather general and rather subjective.

Article I.2.0.D. The contrasting photographs. The negative is clearly not the negative of the positive, but a different photo altogether. It is also printed at a different size. A “true” negative would have the famous “epsilon” blood stain pointing a different way.

Categories: Teaser of the Day

Teaser of the Day: Under the guise of being an objective “established” observation.

February 1, 2013 4 comments

What is right or wrong with this material from page 9 of The Shroud: A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer.

Table I, Item 2.0:

The body image has the normal tones of light and dark reversed, so the body parts nearer the cloth are darker. This fact leads us to state that the body image appears as a photographic negative. See the contrasting naked eye and photographic negative images of the face below.

image

     
Naked Eye View                          Photo Negative

Scored: Established

Comment:

Italian photographer Secondo Pia took the first official photographs of the Shroud in 1898. He had been invited to photograph the Shroud while it was being exhibited to the public in the Turin Cathedral. As he developed the film he was shocked to see what was revealed. His negatives showed incredibly detailed images of an anatomically correct, naked and crucified man, which could simply not be seen when viewing the Shroud with the naked eye. When released to the public, Pia’s photographic negative images acted to spontaneously launch modern scientific forensic and historical inquiry into the Shroud. As a result the Shroud has arguably become the single most studied artifact in history.

image
Frontal                                                              Dorsal
(Body Image)

Hugh Farey questions the wording in a comment to another posting about this paper:

The normal tones are reversed. The normal tones of what? Of body parts? I’m not light on the nose and dark in the cheeks.

Well said, Hugh. I agree.

Actually, these almost identical words appear in “Evidences for Testing Hypotheses About the Body Image Formation of the Turin Shroud” published by the Shroud Science Group. It is signed by twenty four people, including me. I now have some regrets about having signed it, but only because I have thought it through some more. When Giulio Fanti tried to present this paper at the Third Dallas International Conference on the Shroud of Turin, September 8-11, 2005, organizers sought to block it. I did find an alternate venue and Fanti was able to present the paper to most of the attendees. I would do that again even if I wouldn’t sign it again. Anyway, here is the wording:

B27) The body image has the normal tones of light and dark reversed with respect to a photograph, such that parts nearer to the cloth are darker (Jumper 1984, Craig 2004, Schneider 2004).

Why not simple say that it seems to be like or act like a photographic negative? But I know, even that seems imprecise.

My real objection to this statement is how much it implies under the guise of being an objective “established” observation. Really, “so the body parts nearer the cloth are darker,”? Nearer? How is that observed? Could we say if we imagine that a cloth covers a body?

I can’t say the comment is wrong. In the end it seems almost obviously correct. But it is not observed.

Categories: Teaser of the Day

Teaser of the Day: Front and back images show almost the same color intensity. Or do they?

January 31, 2013 3 comments

clip_image001

UPDATE: Hugh Farey sent a couple of screen scrapes from Shroudscope that may help some of see the similarity. They are beneath the fold below.

What is right or wrong with this material from page 9 of The Shroud A Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses, by Robert W. Siefker and Daniel S. Spicer.

Table I, Item 1.0:

The front and back images of the body show almost the same color intensity (yellow-brown), i.e., at first sight, we cannot appreciate, which image is the more evident, front or back.

Scored: Established

Comment:

To the naked eye it is difficult to distinguish between the intensity of the frontal and dorsal body images. We believe this observation demonstrates that neither cloth-body contact nor the weight of the body on the cloth significantly affected the image formation process.

End Notes:

  • Eric J. Jumper, Alan D. Adler, John P. Jackson, Samuel F. Pellicori, John H. Heller, James R Druzik, “A Comprehensive Examination of the Various Stains and Images on the Shroud of Turin,” American ChemicalSociety 22 (1984): 451-53. (This was on of the key early papers published by STURP scientists based on their research on the Shroud in Turin in 1978.)
  • L.A. Schwalbe and R.N. Rogers, “Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin, A Summary of the 1978 Investigation, Analytica Chemica Acta, Vol. 135 (1982): 3-49. (This is another of the early STURP Research Papers.)

What doesn’t sit well with me is the blatancy of the assumption that “neither cloth-body contact nor the weight of the body on the cloth significantly affected the image formation process.” If later in the paper certain artistic image forming processes are to be entertained (as they are and rightly so) such as painting, photography and Luigi Garlaschelli’s method, then it is only appropriate to not poison the well with an obvious image of a human body enshrouded. To the authors’ credit, this is limited to a comment. Such rhetorical shenanigans should be avoided. Simply leave off the last sentence of the comment and this item is probably an established fact. Or is it? 

Read more…

Categories: Teaser of the Day
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