Posts Tagged ‘Giorgio Bracaglia’

Cognitive Response to Thermochimica Acta Paper

February 26, 2015 79 comments

clip_image001We learn over at the Holy Shroud Guild website that Giorgio Bracaglia has just uploaded an interesting research  paper to  The Reader’s Cognitive Response toward Two Problematic Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts

From the abstract we learn:

This research explores two populations’ cognitive responses towards two peer reviewed manuscripts. In both manuscripts, experts in the field criticize the text, and conclude them unfit for publication. To examine participants’ feelings relative to the critic’s report, a survey was created that deliberately opposes the manuscript’s legitimacy, and accepts the critic’s assertion. Two populations were surveyed on two distinct subjects. The subjects ranged from the radiocarbon testing of the Shroud of Turin defying the results performed by three distinguished laboratories, to the dangers of Glyphosate (Roundup) for human consumption. The first group was specifically targeted based on their expertise on the Shroud of Turin. The second group was randomly selected, and has no known level of expertise on either of the two topics.

Jumping right away, as I often do, to the conclusion, I find this:

Rogers work is immeasurable in the Shroud s scientific community. The intent to use Rogers manuscript was not to discredit Rogers thesis, but to offer why division existed between two factions about its rank.

The one peer reviewed manuscript we care about:

Thermochimica Acta, by Raymond Rogers is a manuscript about the Shroud of Turin. Rogers was a chemist who was considered by his peers to be an expert in thermal analysis. In 2005, his writing challenged the radiocarbon dating result performed in 1988 stating the Shroud’s origin was between 1260-1390 AD. Rogers was no stranger to the Shroud of Turin. He was the co-founder of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP), which was a group of American scientists that performed an investigation of the Shroud in 1978. In 1981, STURP’s official statement reported that the Shroud is not a product of an artist but is a form of a scourged crucified man. In the Christian community, this was wonderful news. However, the exhilaration did not last long when three laboratories, University of Arizona, ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and Oxford University in 1988 announced that the radiocarbon measurements dated the Shroud’s origin between 1260-1390 AD. These findings prompted strong reactions from Sindonologists who refuted the laboratories claim. Sindonologists are a group of specialized scientists or researchers that studies the Shroud of Turin.

In 2000, Rogers received reports from long time Sindonologist researchers, Joe Marino and Sue Bedford. They hypothesized that the radiocarbon dating was not from threads excised from the main body of the Shroud, but rather from a location contaminated with dye cotton used in the restoration of the Shroud.

Remember: this is not a study of Rogers’ manuscript (or the other paper) but The Reader’s Cognitive Response toward Two Problematic Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts. The paper should be read in its entirety.

Even though both manuscripts faced strong opposition from their contemporaries, both manuscripts had a broad support amongst their followers. The broad support might be attributed to confirmation bias. Nickerson (1998) explained that confirmation bias“gives undue weight to, evidence that supports one’s position while neglecting to gather or discounting, evidence that would tell against it” (p.175).

Giorgio has summarized the “strong opposition from … contemporaries” to Rogers’ paper for us. Here are some pieces of that.

Example 1:

Rogers’ manuscript successfully established ownership for the threads; however, what Rogers failed to offer was the chronological documentation pertaining to the threads. It is possible Rogers familiarity with the threads made him lax in procuring the proper protocol producing the chain of custody.

Example 2:

Gonella then said that he had reason to believe that some or all of Raes’ samples had been switched with materials not originally from the Shroud. (Personal archive collection of the Holy Shroud Guild, Nitowski, 1986)

Example 3:

Manuscript validity depends on the author and reviewer’s ability to ensure the accuracy of the final manuscript. People are all guilty of confirmation bias…. Social bias also threatens the peer review process. Reviewers can be influenced by the perceived status of the researcher’s reputation in their particular field, rather than the actual content of the manuscript. In the case of Rogers, he served on the editorial board of Thermochimica Acta from 1970 until his retirement, in 1988….

And so what did the conclusion say?

… These observations may have indicated that participant’s cognitive responses towards these two problematic peer reviewed manuscripts appear to be dependent on the participant’s predetermined experience and inferences on the subject….

Confirming what I thought! (I couldn’t resist).

After all, that was what the study was about.  But the criticisms of Rogers and his paper remain, wanting to be examined more, refuted hopefully and dismissed. Yes, I seem to be biased. I know that.

Giorgio Bracaglia over at the Holy Shroud Guild wants your help

December 20, 2014 14 comments

imageGiorgio is promoting the survey on the Holy Shroud Guild’s Facebook page. An email to participants reads:

I am a student at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York. I am currently collecting data for my research project entitled The reader’s cognitive response towards peer-reviewed manuscripts,to fulfill my degree program requirement in Organizational Management.  The purpose of my study is to explore the reader’s cognitive response to two manuscripts that were problematic.

I would like you to participate in this study by completing an on-line survey by January 4, 2015.  The questionnaire will take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.  Your participation is voluntary but very important to the success of this study. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with this assignment, please feel free to discontinue.

The responses you provide are anonymous and STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.  The results of this study will be reported in the form of statistical summaries that do not identify any individual.  You must be over 18 years of age to participate. If you have any questions regarding the questionnaire, please contact me at

Thank you for taking the time to assist in this important project.  I look forward to receiving your completed questionnaire.

CLICK HERE to begin the process.  Read the short (one page) essay on Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Then take the survey. After submitting your results you will be taken to another short essay and another short survey form. (There is a Shroud of Turin connection, as you will see).

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Paper Chase: The origin of Rogers’ Raes and C14 samples by Thibault Heimburger

December 1, 2014 5 comments

In view of the suggestion yesterday in a paper by Giorgio Bracaglia that The Raes samples that Rogers used had been switched it seems like a good time to examine the St. Louis presentation by Thibault Heimburger, The origin of Rogers’ Raes and C14 samples along with his PowerPoint Presentation.

Here is a chart that addresses that very point:


Here is the concluding PP chart from Thibault’s talk:


*The paper at HSG has been locked up with a password. Apparently and unfortunately, it was not supposed to have been released.

The Raes samples that Rogers used had been switched?

November 30, 2014 10 comments

Tomorrow, we are expecting Thibault Heimburger’s paper from the St. Louis conference
on the chain of custody of Rogers’ C14 samples

HOWEVER, on the Holy Shroud Guild website, today, we read, “Gonella then said
that he had reason to believe that some or all of Raes’ samples had been switched
with materials not originally from the Shroud.”

imageGoogle spotted this NEW item on the HSG website yesterday. It is a short statement linked to a short questionnaire that, as such, has the appearances of being one big loaded question. (Google Cached Copy of Same)

The HSG hosted statement begins with this paragraph following an innocuous title that reads, Ray Rogers, Thermochimica Acta:

All researchers have an ethical responsibility to be factual when writing an academic or research paper for publication.  Publication journals are responsible for reviewing the submitted work or manuscript before being published.  The interdependence between researchers and journals is imperative. Each body has control over public opinion, legislation, funding, and resources. Unethical work that is produced based on authors’ biases or journals’ agendas will have a negative impact for everyone.

“Unethical work . . .  based on authors’ biases or journals’ agendas. . .” What is being implied? Let’s see:

Rogers argued that ­the fibers collected in 1988 testing were not representative to the main part of the cloth (Rogers, 2005).  The most important evidence Rogers’ possessed were the threads he obtained. Rogers explained, 

I received 14 yarn segments from the Raes sample from Prof. Luigi Gonella (Department of Physics, Turin Polytechnic University) on 14 October 1979. I photographed the samples as received and archived them separately in numbered vials. Some of the samples were destroyed in chemical tests between 1979 and 1982, but most of the segments have been preserved” (p.188). Rogers continues and explains, “On 12 December 2003, I received samples of both warp and weft threads that Prof. Luigi Gonella had taken from the radiocarbon sample before it was distributed for dating. Gonella reported that he excised the threads from the center of the radiocarbon sample. (p. 189)

Rogers’ manuscript successfully established ownership for the threads; however, what Rogers failed to offer was the chronological documentation pertaining to the threads. It is possible, Roger’s familiarity with the threads made him sedentary procuring the proper protocol producing the chain of custody. . . .


Dr. Nitowksi was an archeologist studying the Shroud’s image formation in Jerusalem during 1986. In her paper titled, Criteria for authentication: A procedure of the verification of the shroud samples, Nitowski writes,

On the evening of April 28, 1986, I and several of my companions returning from our Jerusalem testing relative to the Shroud of Turin, had supper with Dr. Luigi Gonella, and his family at their Turin apartment. Among other Shroud topics, Dr. Gonella and I spoke briefly about the Rogers Mylar tape samples on loan to Joseph Kohlbeck, my colleague, and currently in my possession. Included with those samples is a small glass vial labeled Raes Sample containing a 12mm long thread. I told Dr. Gonella that Kohlbeck had found it to be coated with starch by an iodine test. Gonella expressed amazement at this, since no one had reported such substance on the Shroud material previously. He then asked me if I knew for certain that the thread had a “Z” twist. I told him that I had not checked it. Gonella then said that he had reason to believe that some or all of Raes’ samples had been switched with materials not originally from the Shroud. (Personal archive collection of the Holy Shroud Guild, Nitowski, 1986) 

“Reason to believe?”

And there is this:

Rogers indeed received 14 yarn segments from the Raes sample from Gonella in 1979. However, Rogers never maintained them in his own custody prior to 1979, and some of the samples he received after 1979, he distributed to other scientist for further evaluations as documented in the letter by Dr. Nitowski. Notwithstanding, Rogers still may have found these threads suitable for his study. But in no way does that excuse the review process to do its due diligence and inquire detailed documentation concerning the threads. Even more questionable were the threads received by Rogers in 2003. In Rogers’ Thermochimica Acta manuscript, Rogers briefly mentions that is was Gonella who excised the threads before it was distributed for dating (p.189). What was never mentioned in Rogers’ Thermochimica Acta manuscript was by whom he received the threads from. . . .

Recently, Giorgio Bracaglia posted the following on The Holy Shroud Guild Facebook page:

By December I am planning to do a research survey with this audience. The topics will be about GMO (Monsanto) and Ray Rogers’ 2005 Thermochimica Acta manuscript. The articles are designed to represent faithfully only one perspective.Your task will be to read the two short essays (1/2 page each) and respond accordingly based on the readings. 5 questions in total for each topic.

This seems to be what he is talking about. It is almost December. There is a similar GMO paper, as well. It is interesting that the first paragraph of the GMO paper, which deals with the issue of ethical peer journalism, is identical, word for word with the article about Rogers’ paper.  So what is the GMO paper doing on the HSG website? 

Suggestion: Wait on, then read Thibault Heimburger’s paper from the St. Louis conference when it appears on, hopefully tomorrow. Then and only then answer the questions from the short questionnaire, in which you choose to disagree or agree by degree):

  1. There are clear evidences that the threads excised for the radio carbon data was representative to the cloth
  2. The radio carbon data performed on the Shroud in 1988, is flawed
  3. The request by Arch. Bishop Saldarini to have the unauthorized threads return has no influence on Rogers findings
  4. Raes samples excised in 1973 are viable evidence
  5. Rogers demonstrates enough provenance of the threads used for his research

Or not.

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