Is Bilirubin Still Accepted as an Explanation for the Red Blood?

I was just about to post a link to an interview with Barrie Schwortz by Jim Graves that appeared in yesterday’s edition of The Catholic World Report when an email from one of this blog’s readers caught my attention.

“I just read the interview with Barrie Schwortz,” the reader wrote. “I thought the bilirubin explanation for the red blood was no longer accepted by scientists.”

Some scientists, I think.

Part of one of Barrie’s answers in The Shroud: Not a Painting, Not a Scorch, Not a Photograph reads:

For 17 years I refused to accept that the Shroud was authentic. The last argument holding me back was related to the blood. The blood on the Shroud is reddish, but blood on a cloth, even after just a few hours, should turn brown or black. I had a conversation with Alan Adler, a blood chemist, on the phone and I shared my reservation. He got upset and asked, “Didn’t you read my paper?”

He had found a high content of bilirubin on the Shroud, which explains why the blood on the Shroud is red. When a man is beaten and has had no water, he can go into shock and the liver starts pumping out bilirubin. It makes the blood stay red forever. It was the last piece of the puzzle for me. I had nothing left to complain about. Sometimes I wonder why I hadn’t asked Alan Adler that question 17 years before, but I guess I wasn’t ready for the answer back then.

Although this was the final evidence that convinced me, it is no one particular piece of evidence that proves the Shroud is authentic. The entirety of evidence indicates that it is.

Ray Rogers and Anna Arnoldi, in a paper, Scientific Method Applied to the Shroud of Turin: A Review, published on Barrie’s site in 2002 argues:

The warp of ancient linen was protected with starch during weaving and the finished cloth was washed in Saponaria officinalis suds. Saponaria is hemolytic, which could explain why the old blood stains on the cloth are still red. Diane Soran (deceased) of Los Alamos, tested hemolysis on Saponaria-washed cloth before we went to Turin. The blood is still red on those 25-year-old samples. Controls are black.

And didn’t Sam Pellicori discover that fibers inside a blood soaked thread were brown while the fibers on the outside were red? If so, does this not lend credence to the idea that the blood remained red due to a hemolytic agent such as Saponaria officinalis (Soapwort) instead of bilirubin.  Small amounts of dissolved soap might have ended up on the outer surface of the threads due to evaporation concentration.  As the cloth dried, moisture wicked its way to the surface to evaporate into the air. As the water made its way to the surface it would have carried with it dissolved starch fractions and saccharides. As the water evaporated into the air these chemicals were deposited as a thin coating on the outermost fibers of the thread.

Here is a sample of some of the postings on this blog that relate:

Ten Questions for Alan Adler by Kelly Kearse

Blood Clotting and the Strange Case of Brother Hirudo

Let’s Talk Red Blood: Bilirubin, Saponaria officinalis and UV

The Orphaned Manuscript and the Color of Blood

Was Adler’s Analysis Science?

A Bold Conclusion: the Blood, the Image, the Man

How much bilirubin?

Now we are cooking with Sciencebod

If you want to fill up your weekend try this Google search: site:shroudstory.com bilirubin. You can also enter “Bilirubin” into the blog search box.

Note: The photograph is of Barrie Schwortz (CNS photo/Paul Haring). It has not been copied or directly posted here. This is an inline image that appears on The Catholic World Report.

Barrie Schwortz: Not a Painting, Photograph, Scorch or Rubbing

clip_image001Today’s Windsor Star tells of an exhibit about the Shroud of Turin now going on in Windsor, Canada. During the course of the exhibit, Barrie Schwortz gave several lectures. Rick Dawes, in writing the news article, Replica Shroud of Turin draws thousands of curious Windsorites, quotes Barrie saying:

“I got to be in the room with this piece of cloth for five days and nights, hands on,” Schwortz said. “We are the only ones in its history to be given that (sort of) access to it.

“We were there to determine how the image was formed, we failed in that (but) we were able to determine what it was not … it was not a painting, it was a photograph, it was not a scorch, it’s not a rubbing … those are all the conventional ways.”

Divine or artistic impressions aside, few definitive conclusions can be made about the shroud’s origin but Schwortz said the discussion is timely for Catholics during the season of Lent, leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

“There are a lot of stories of what was done to Jesus (on Good Friday) but this cloth documents it with complete forensic accuracy and it bears an image that modern science still cannot explain,” Schwortz said.

Note: The above image is a thumbnail image of a photograph appearing in today’s Windsor Star

Barrie Schwortz on the CNN Shroud of Turin Program

“My first impression was that the program’s content was more superficial
than the image on the Shroud!”  — Barrie Schwortz


imageBarrie has joined the ranks of many who are reacting unfavorably to the first episode of Finding Jesus on CNN. He has posted A Brief Review of the Recent CNN Documentary and Further Comments on the Medieval Photograph Theory on the shroud.com website:

I personally hate to write reviews of television programs and usually leave them for others to do, but after weeks of media hype and the controversy created after this program aired, I felt compelled to write a brief review of CNN’s latest “docudrama” on the Shroud of Turin, which premiered Sunday, March 1, 2015, as the first episode in their six part “Finding Jesus” series….

On the experts:

It was also interesting to see who the producers considered to be Shroud “experts.” It was good to see a few familiar faces, like Dr. John Jackson and Mark Guscin, who both appear in the program and who are well known as credible Shroud scholars. (Although Russ Breault was originally interviewed for the program, his comments were not included in the final edited version). However, most of the other “experts” were unfamiliar to me and I could find no evidence that any of them ever actually studied the Shroud themselves. Unfortunately, that happens frequently in Shroud documentaries.

On the carbon dating of the shrouud:

Even more frustrating, when discussing the radiocarbon dating, absolutely no mention was made by anyone of the credible scientific data that exists indicating the single sample chosen for dating was anomalous and not necessarily representative of the entire Shroud. Although that theory is controversial and not accepted by everyone, it was in fact the first research to challenge the radiocarbon dating in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Simply ignoring it does a great disservice to those who dedicated themselves to doing credible scientific research on the Shroud and it certainly makes it more difficult for those who are not as well versed to understand what we truly know. Based on all the e-mails and calls I received, its absence was certainly obvious to most of the viewers of this website, since that was the question they asked me the most.

On the medieval photograph hypothesis:

But the most frustrating part of the program for me was the considerable time spent resurrecting the long ago discarded proto-photography theory presented by South African art historian Nicholas Allen, who claims the Shroud is a medieval photograph. In 2000, I presented a paper at the Sindone 2000 Shroud Conference in Orvieto, Italy, titled, “Is The Shroud of Turin a Medieval Photograph? A Critical Examination of the Theory” that addressed Allen’s conclusions directly and presented a side-by-side comparison of his results to the image on the Shroud (something Allen never did). I then pointed out the dramatic differences between the two images and you can see them for yourself at the above link.

In addition, Barrie has added a section to the Late Breaking News page for 2015. It reads:

Now that several days have passed and many people have had the opportunity to view the CNN documentary, it is time to look at some reviews of the program. In fact, I received so many letters and phone calls that rather than try and answer them all, I decided to write my own review of the documentary, which you will find linked below. In addition, I am providing a link to a relevant article that addresses certain issues raised in the program and links to other online sources with reviews you might find interesting. So let’s get started:

This is just a small sampling of the many comments posted on various blogs and websites. If you do a little searching, I’m sure you will find a lot more.

The Coloradans

(Note this article is three years old but just surfaced in Yahoo as news).

“There’s only one answer: This cloth wrapped the body of Jesus.”  — Barrie Schwortz

imageIn Denver’s Westward, Patricia Calhoun writes: Jesus! Was the Shroud of Turin Created by a Supernatural “Flash of Light”?:

According to Vatican Insider, experts at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development have concluded that what’s been billed as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ could not have been faked:

“The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory … This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.”

Their study involved a lot of technical use of laser lights — pulses in short-term duration — and also name-checks some of the research done by the Shroud of Turin Research Project headed by John Jackson, who led a STRP team of researchers to Italy back in 1978, and still runs the Turin Shroud Center in Colorado Springs. “It seems as though they’re cueing off a paper that I did about twenty years ago on image-formation mechanism,” Jackson says. “There’s some essential physics here. I’ve thought for twenty years that ultra-violet could create a vision.”

[…]

Jackson has been trying to solve that puzzle for decades….

“Coloradans have played an important role in Shroud research,” notes Barry Schwartz, publisher of the Colorado-based shroud.com. He was part of the team that went to Italy in the ’70s (he only moved to this state five years ago) and has done much of the photographic documentation.

The Italian research, he says, “further supports the scientific data that the image on the Shroud is neither a painting or art or a hoax from the medieval times to fool us.”

Jackson will continue to push for more proof of what, exactly, the Image is. “We keep pressing forward as best we can,” he says. “I would commend the Italian researchers. They’re trying to understand the shroud using a radiation model…I’m pleased that they’re using capabilities that they have to try to explore that type of a hypothesis.”

But Schwartz, who is Jewish and says he was “the biggest skeptic on the team,” is ready to make a more definitive pronouncement: “There’s only one answer: This cloth wrapped the body of Jesus.”

Shroud Presentations and Exhibition in Ontario in March

There will be several days of exhibitions and a number of presentations by by Barrie Schwortz during March at the Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church, 1947 Meldrum Road in Windsor, Ontario:

Weekdays – March 11th, 12th, 13th, 16th

  • 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Saturday, March 14th

  • 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Sunday, March 15th

  • 1:00pm – 4:00pm
  • 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Tuesday, March 17th

  • 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • 6:00pm AND closing Mass at 7:00pm

Visiting Shroud Scholar:

      Barrie Schwortz, Founder/Editor of www.shroud.com

Presentation:

      35 Years of Shroud Science: A Personal Perspective

     March 12th and 13th

  • 10:00am, 1:00pm and 6:30pm

     March 14th

  • 1:00pm and 6:30pm
  • Barrie Schwortz, an Orthodox Jew, spends much of his time educating people that the Turin Shroud may well be an artifact of Jesus. An expert on imaging, he was the official documenting photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), the 1978 team that conduction the first in-depth scientific examination of the Shroud. In 2009, he founded the Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association.His images have been seen on CNN, NBC, Discovery and learning channels, He has been published in Time, Life and National Geographic. He is the founder of the largest internet site of the Shroud. www.shroud.com

Further information & Group Seating: 519-982-3337

Barrie Schwortz’ Lecture Schedule for 2015

With the latest update to shroud.com, Barrie Schwortz has published his lecture schedule for 2015 as it currently stands. He writes:

My spring lecture schedule is dramatically abbreviated this year due to the upcoming public exhibition of the Shroud, as I will be in Turin for a few weeks in May and will need some extra time to prepare for that event. Consequently, I have scheduled a number of my lectures in the fall. Since viewers often write me asking where and when I might be giving Shroud presentations, I am again including my upcoming schedule in case I happen to be in your area. If so, please drop by and say hello. Please understand that many of the times and venues are still not finalized and are subject to change. I will do my best to update them before the events if possible. I also want to extend a special thanks to Prof. Tom Kerr, from the Art Department at St. John’s University, for creating and sharing with us the great sketch he made of my lecture at the university last year (see above). Thanks Tom!

To see Barrie’s schedule CLICK HERE or on the thumbnail image above.

Shroud.com Updated: 19th Anniversary of Website Today

I still marvel that 19 years have passed since
the site first went online in 1996 
— Barrie Schwortz

Barrie writes in the Late Breaking Website News! page:

Welcome to our 19th Anniversary Update! You may have noticed (if you entered through our Home Page), that we have replaced the black & white ventral Shroud photograph that has graced our front page for the past 19 years with a larger color photograph of the entire Shroud taken in 1978. We hope you like the new look.

This update includes some very important new materials. Not only have we included four more issues of Shroud Spectrum International (with only 2 remaining to complete the archive of 42 regular issues), but we have also included a new Author Index and Title Index to make researching the journal even easier for everyone. We have also included a new feature titled "From the Crispino Archives" that includes eight older Shroud articles going back to 1902 that Dorothy thought were important enough to have scanned by her friend Mark D. Williams, who created the indices, did the scanning and graciously shared them with us. This update also includes the latest (December 2014 #80) issue of the BSTS Newsletter and much more.

I still marvel that 19 years have passed since the site first went online in 1996. Each year I write this introduction to our anniversary update with the intention of saying something new and fresh, but every year I find myself coming back to the same theme: This website would not be possible were it not for the cooperation and participation of all of the researchers, historians, scientists and scholars in the world who have allowed us to publish their work over the years, our gracious donors whose contributions help fund our efforts and all of our loyal viewers (more than 940,000 of you in 2014) who visit the site regularly and read millions of our pages! You make our work truly satisfying and worthwhile. Thank You! – Barrie Schwortz, Editor

Here is the Update Table of Contents:

The above image, an inline thumbnail, is clickable.