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Posts Tagged ‘Ray Rogers’

Colin Berry on Rogers, Groupies, Me and Trolls

July 25, 2015 27 comments

That experiment of Rogers was frankly fudged to give the desired result.  This researcher despises fudged demonstrations. What we see above is pseudo-science. This is the kind of “science” that assorted trolls and fanatics are so keen to promote on Porter’s site, and the site’s owner let’s them do it, year after year after year.

The idea that starch ‘falls apart’ with time to make what Rogers called “crude starch”, conveniently a source of reducing sugar for his Maillard reaction, is a complete fiction. Rogers may be some people’s chemical guru. He is not mine. His Shroud reseacrh(sic) is rifddled(sic) with serious errors and/or blind spots and a serious deficiency of strict scientific objectivity.

— Colin Berry


imageThose are pretty serious accusations Colin has made during the past three days in his blog. Can he possibly be right?

Colin gets upset if you don’t read his full postings as he writes  them on his own site. But he makes it hard by posting his thoughts in chunks that are halfway between a blog posting, diary entry and a scrambled egg. Here is a Texas Two-Step process for finding what he wants you to read:

  1. Click on his posting, Here’s an updated version of my ‘iconoplastic’ modelling of that Turin so-called “Shroud” (probably a misnomer).
  2. Scroll down until you see a paragraph that starts with, “This blogger has already been accused of plagiarizing Rogers’ ideas.”  It’s about 80% of the way down an overly long page.

After reading for a minute or less you’ll get to this:

It’s an experiment that Dan Porter describes as a “success”. Did he bother consulting a chemist before making that judgement?

It was NOT a success at all, if intended to show that a Maillard reaction can occur between starch and ammonia at room temperature as a model for the Turin Shroud. Note first that it did not use starch, which we are told was an impurity coating on the linen. It used “dextrins” which are  highly degraded starch,  more sugar than starch. That substitution, easily overlooked because Rogers makes no attempt to justify it, gets around the small difficulty that Maillard reactions require reducing SUGARS. Starch is not a reducing sugar. Nor does it easily “fall apart” to make reducing sugar. Google “lintnerization”. It gets worse. Saponins have been added as well. Why? Because the linen is now said to be impregnated not only with starch (pity about the absence of analytical data) but with saponins too (they were used as a kind of soap see in the 1st century AD). Saponins (again, no analytical data) that just happen to have lots of pentose (5-carbon) sugars in their carbohydrate polymers. Pentose sugars are chemically more reactive than 6-carbon sugars like glucose or highly degraded starch. Pentose sugars react more readily than hexose sugars to give Maillard reaction products.  But it doesn’t end there. Note Rogers’ choice of “putrefaction amine”, the simplest amine of all – ammonia- a highly volatile gas, half as light as air. Note that his mixture of degraded starch and saponins was exposed to ammonia gas for 24 hours. We are supposed to be impressed that he demonstrated a Maillard reaction at room temperature. What’s easily overlooked is that excess ammonia raises pH, and that Maillard reactions that are normally sluggish at room temperature are greatly assisted by an alkaline pH. So on three counts – degraded strarch, saponins and alkaline pH – we see Rogers’ so-called Maillard reaction being assisted by dubious means, of no proven relevance to a 1st century tomb.  To cap it all, we are given no evidence that the yellow colour was in fact a Maillard product. It may have been, it may not – some supporting data was needed before ASSUMING it was a Maillard product and not (say) a product from exposing saponin or sugars to alkali and oxygen. Why were there no controls?

[…]

There is this on groupies

Note too by the way the absurdity of claiming that Rogers found starch on the STURP samples (he didn’t) while his model requires reducing sugars that would require highly degraded starch that would no longer give a positive test for starch (e.g. a blue-black colour with iodine).  Good, isn’t it?  Day after day we see one Rogers ‘groupie’ banging on endlessly that Rogers DID find starch (no he didn’t) and another Rogers’ groupie insistent that Rogers’ Maillard model is the correct one, despite unfavourable thermodynamics at low temperature/ordinary pH,  requiring reducing sugar, not starch.  Why does Dan Porter allow this self-contradictory, self-defeating nonsense to continue, month after month, year after year. Why does he allow his site to be ruled – and ruined – by this kind of fanaticism that is blind or indifferent to the facts?

[…]

On Rogers’ experiment:

That experiment of Rogers was frankly fudged to give the desired result.  This researcher despises fudged demonstrations. What we see above is pseudo-science. This is the kind of “science” that assorted trolls and fanatics are so keen to promote on Porter’s site, and the site’s owner let’s them do it, year after year after year.

And how was Rogers’ able to substitute dextrins, i.e. highly degraded starch, made commercially by heating starch with strong acid, or digesting with amylase enzymes, for intact starch? Simple. He refers to his dextrins as “crude starch”.That is taking one enormous liberty with words. When one extracts starch from a planr source, one may use the term “crude starch” to imply there are non-starch contaminants, e.g protein or cell wall material. To describe  the starch as crude to imply that it is partially degraded to low molecular weight dextrins, simple sugars  with reducing properties, as needed for Maillard reactions. etc  is quite simply appalling. If Rogers were here today, I would tell him to his face that he was at least deceiving himself if he imagined that linen initially impregnated with “crude starch” would supply the “reducing sugar” needed for his Maillard reaction, with or without prior ageing of the manufactured fabric. Starch does not, as I said earlier, easily fall apart. The glycosidic linkages in starch are strong and not easily broken.

[…]

On cowardly people with pseudonyms and trolls

Message to Dan Porter: this blogger is a retired professional biochemist. If anyone doubts my professionalism, then they must come to this site under their real name and be prepared to argue the science in detail. What I am not prepared to tolerate is having my science cut-and-paste to your site site for a cowardly individual, operating under a pseudonym, to attack my professionalism, usually with no attempt to address the detail. That is trolling. You have no business using my content, while allowing a troll to operate freely and unhindered on your site.  If you wish to use my material, then eject the troll from your site, or ban her from commenting on my material. If you wish to allow the troll to carry on as usual, attacking my professional credentials, then kindly stop using my material. In short, observe comm0nsense netiquette.

[…]

And on serious errors and/or blind spots:

The idea that starch ‘falls apart’ with time to make what Rogers called “crude starch”, conveniently a source of reducing sugar for his Maillard reaction, is a complete fiction. Rogers may be some people’s chemical guru. He is not mine. His Shroud reseacrh is rifddled with serious errors and/or blind spots and a serious deficiency of strict scientific objectivity.

[…]

 

Ouch!

Again, here is a Texas Two-Step process for finding what Colin wants you to read because you may want to read it:

  1. Click on his posting, Here’s an updated version of my ‘iconoplastic’ modelling of that Turin so-called “Shroud” (probably a misnomer).
  2. Scroll down until you see a paragraph that starts with, “This blogger has already been accused of plagiarizing Rogers’ ideas.”  It’s about 80% of the way down an overly long page.
Categories: Image Theory, Science Tags:

Is Colin Berry Onto Something?

July 2, 2015 24 comments

a chemo-graphic (à la photo-graphic) explanation for the shroud image

imageA reader from Palo Alto writes:

You and your blog mates are being unfair to Dr. Colin Berry. As I see it he is the real successor to Raymond Rogers. With imagination and exploratory experimentation Berry is developing new hypotheses for how the image on the Shroud might have formed. That is what Rogers did. Berry thinks out loud and shows us his trials along the way. That is also what Rogers did.

At this stage of development Berry is suggesting the image may have formed from a wet or moist organic coating on a body or statue. When a cloth is applied and removed some coating comes away on the cloth forming a latent image. That latent image is then developed into a visible image by a browning reaction, possibly a Maillard reaction.

Berry may be onto something, a chemo-graphic (à la photo-graphic) explanation for the shroud image. His latest method may help to explain an intentional fake image or an accidental natural one. An accidental image may have been from the tomb of Christ or a later reenactment. Mankind is forever reenacting important events.

There are many questions that need to be answered. Will a suitable chemical and physical process be found by Berry or a successor? I’m thinking about soaps, oils and spices. Can Berry’s process produce an image with many of the Shroud’s image characteristics? Can unmet characteristics be explained by age or circumstance?  I’m thinking about a damp cloth which might blur or soften away an outline and produce more plausible 3D like characteristics? A damp cloth may also produce a more superficial image.

Berry is certainly right to suggest that the image evolved over time because of handling, temperature, humidity and exposure to light.

I part company with Dr. Berry on the radiocarbon dating. There is too much historical evidence to believe it is correct. If the Shroud’s image was faked it was faked many centuries earlier.

Yes, but, Rogers was always respectful to others. That is a big difference. And, no, we have not been unfair to Colin.  I’d like to hear more.  I’d like to see his work continue. Maybe he is onto something. But there is some bad chemistry in this blog and his blog that is making this difficult.

Click on the image to see a larger version of this ImageJ 3D rendering by Colin. CLICK HERE to read Colin’s latest posting about his work.

Categories: Image Theory Tags: ,

It helps to read what you cite

June 9, 2015 4 comments

imageCan you spot the flaw in yesterday’s posting, Carbon dating and the Shroud of Turin, by John Leonard?

But then a pair of amateur detectives/scientists named Joe Marino and Sue Bedford published a peer-reviewed research paper suggesting that the carbon dating test results for the Shroud of Turin were incorrect — not because the tests were flawed, but because the sample itself was flawed.

Bedford and Marino claimed that the sample that was carbon-dated came from a section of the shroud that had been expertly repaired to be undetectable by the naked eye.

Ray Rogers, one of the lead research scientists involved with STURP, became furious when he found out the integrity of his work product had been challenged by amateurs in a published, peer-reviewed paper. He said the claims of Benford and Marino were absurd and promised to prove they were wrong by testing material from the original sample still in his possession.

Instead, Rogers found powerful evidence suggesting Benford and Marino had been absolutely correct in saying the material for the original carbon dating tests had been taken from a contaminated section of the shroud, identifying cotton fibers in the sample not found in the rest of the shroud.

The paper linked to by John Leonard in his posting, the paper that he says made Rogers furious, refers to the late Ray Rogers.

Recently, additional information has been discovered strongly supporting, if not verifying, the validity of the invisible patch theory. In addition to the recent publication of a peer-reviewed article by former Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) chemist, the late Ray Rogers …

Wrong paper! Leonard might have read WRAPPED UP IN THE SHROUD, Chronicle of a Passion by Joe Marino and gotten the right paper.  In fact, he could have found the citation he needed by just reading the description of Joe’s book on Amazon:

Joseph Marino, a former Benedictine monk, has been studying the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to the burial cloth of Jesus, since 1977. He and his late wife, M. Sue Benford, presented a paper at the Sindone 2000 World Congress in Orvieto, Italy, hypothesizing that the reason the 1988 C-14 dating of the Shroud resulted in a date range of AD 1260-1390 for the cloth was because of a sixteenth-century repair in the sample area. Raymond Rogers, one of the scientists from the Shroud of Turin Research Project who studied the Shroud in 1978, thought the hypothesis was nonsense at first but later concluded that Benford and Marino were probably correct. Other scientists have independently verified Rogers’ findings, which were published in 2005 in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal, Thermochimica Acta.

A Shift-Drift in Colin Berry’s Thinking?

March 17, 2015 76 comments

To misparaphrase Dylan Thomas: Do not go gentle into that good night
but rage, rage against the dyeing of the cloth (dying of the light).


imageI remember many postings to the Shroud Science Group to and by Ray Rogers. One didn’t need to agree with him to please him. He liked new thinking if it was based on real science. At the same time, however, he was tolerant of dolts like me who did not know science very well but were willing to listen.

He liked it when people were willing to hypothesize and experiment. Propose any method for image formation that was based on real science, and you had his complete attention. I think, from what I read over the span of many months, Ray would have truly enjoyed Colin Berry’s latest blog posting, Is the Shroud of Turin image really "enigmatic"? See this straightforward, no-nonsense modelling exercise:

Colin begins with a bit of prefatory stage setting. In reacting to people who call the image enigmatic. He writes:

…  it’s perhaps not surprising that some have read “enigmatic” to mean not just "mysterious" but “supernatural”.

Personally. this retired science bod is quite happy to entertain the possibility of certain phenomena being supernatural, but only if non-supernatural explanations have been carefully considered and rigorously excluded.. Thus I’m minded to think that the "Big Bang" was the work of a supernatural entity – though that has not prevented me proposing a non-supernatural explanation (see margin notes) that uses conventional physics.

Rigorous filtering out of non-supernatural explanations is sadly not the case where the Turin Shroud is concerned -  there being little real science and a surfeit of pseudo-science aka tosh.. One has only to peruse the headlines that have appeared from scientists ("scientists"?) in recent  years.  Try googling  turin shroud to find entries like this one which as it happens was what sparked my own (renewed) interest in the Shroud, after lying dormant since the 1988/9 radiocarbon dating.

Which sets us up for a fascinating shift or drift in thinking:

What if the image layer were a faint  scorch, or, better still me(currently)thinks Joseph Accetta’s DYE imprinting (now this blogger’s preferred hypothesis in place of a previous fixation with thermal imprinting aka scorching.) 

Actually, going beyond Accetta…

Addendum: as stated here and elsewhere, this blogger now aligns himself with Joseph Accetta in  thinking that the TS image was probably dyed onto the linen, rather than heat-scorched. (I would not have rated dyeing per se very highly, but for the fact that dyeing onto linen is difficult without use of a mordant, that the most common mordant – alum – is highly acidic, and that sulphuric acid from slow alum hydrolysis may explain the faint ghost image we see today (so I’ve gone beyond Dr. Accetta  somewhat). So how does printed fabric respond to the conversions outlined above?

The posting, on Colin’s blog, started March 8th, has been growing. There is this from additional material added just yesterday:

Note: either of the two hydroxides can easily rearrange to make the hydrated oxides, like, er. McCrone’s iron oxide, accommodated within a "painted image" scenario. (Did he ever consider dyeing, as distinct from painting?).

Speaking of which – dyeing that is -  the so-called "dye-rot" that degrades some ancient printed textiles has been attributed to iron-based mordants, especially those that use iron sulphates, as distinct from iron chlorides (sulphuric acid being non-volatile, unlike hydrochloric).

Heaven help us:

Note the current focus on dyeing,  with initially soluble pigments, as distinct from painting with insoluble ones. Hat tip again to Joseph Accetta, assuming the problem of reverse-side (aka obverse-side) action can be resolved. If it can’t, this blogger may need to revert to instant thermal scorching….

Or supernatural?

Note:The image shown above is accidental. It is of a drop cloth used below a plastic grid while dyeing other pieces of cloth as discussed in Lisa Kerpoe’s blog having nothing whatsoever to do with the shroud or the topic at hand.

Remembering Ray Rogers at the St. Louis Conference

December 10, 2014 16 comments

imageYou are going to want to read Remembering Ray Rogers by Barrie Schwortz. This is a short presentation. You can read all of  the PowerPoint charts in less than five minutes.

Barrie begins:

In the past few years, I have sadly witnessed a growing number of personal attacks impugning the integrity, character and credentials of the late Raymond N. Rogers, STURP chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Although his research on the Shroud is empirically honest, is published in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals and speaks for itself, I believe it is time that the public get some background about the “other” Ray Rogers that he never revealed to the “Shroud crowd” himself. That is the primary purpose of this short presentation.

Barrie rounds out his talk with:

Ray would have welcomed the many critiques of his research that have been published in the ensuing years and would have defended the rights of those who disagreed with him to say so publicly, whether they were right or wrong.

In the end however, Ray was much more than the “mid-level scientist” that some of his most vocal critics have labeled him. He was a true leader that consistently demonstrated his knowledge, honesty and scientific integrity, not only in his chosen field of expertise, but in every facet of his research on the Shroud of Turin.

Anyone who says otherwise is simply wrong.

Thank you!

A quick note:  There is a link in one of Barrie’s charts to the NATAS (North American Thermal Analysis Society) Notes for their 2005 conference with an article by Jim McCarty. This link does not work but it did work until recently. You can still find the document in Google Cache. If you want it get it soon and put it away wherever you put your personal archives. The link to the cached copy is:  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:rLqHesufw5cJ:natasinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/natasnotes-3723.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.

The article on Ray Rogers is on page 16 of NATAS Notes.

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:

image


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

image


*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. . . .

“Sedentary?”

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 shroud.com, 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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