How the Shroud’s mask-like face is explained away as irregularities in the linen – a prime example of misinformation and/or clutching at straws

Right, that’s the introductions over. Let’s now get down to business.

We’ll begin by taking a look at a site I have already mentioned in less than glowing terms. The reason for my deep misgivings as to its transparency and sincerity should shortly become clear.

It begins with this:

 “A reader writes: “I keep reading about banding but I don’t understand what caused it and why it is significant.“

Why would anyone bother to ask so pedestrian a question? Why the anonymity?  Is it a planted question, one that allows the site godfathers to set up a red herring operation, because that is what you are about to see – a complete red herring.

It continues:

“Linen in the first century, in the Middle East, was hank bleached. It was an imprecise method resulting in some yarn being whiter and some slightly darker or off-white. This resulted in variegated patterns in linen cloth as different hanks of yarn were fed into the loom. See contrast-enhanced photograph of variegated patterns.

Some of the bands of different shades of white (now perhaps more yellowed and browned with age) are narrow and some are quite wide.

The variegation, or banding as it is sometimes called, produces a visual background noise pattern that alters the way we see things on the Shroud.

(Here one is at a disadvantage, not having seen the Shroud with one’s own eyes.  One is especially vulnerable to the suggestion that what one sees in the published images has been altered by “banding” in the fabric.  Maybe, but don’t take anyone’s word for it: check out the  BBC’s close-up photograph of the Shroud, with its faint, oh so faint image, but with that banding discernible but hardly disfiguring). You’ll see an enlarged version of this:


To continue:

“The face of the man of the shroud is gaunt. That is a common observation. The nose is narrow, eye sockets exceedingly deep, the hair seems to fall straight. At least that is how is seems. Look carefully and you will see that the gaunt appearance is the result of dark vertical bands on each side of the face on the outer part of the cheeks. There are faint, less perceptible bands on each side of the nose and a horizontal band across the eyes, as well.”


Image of Shroud face "as is" (which has been described as a light/dark reversed "negative")


Image on left after inversion with ImageJ software, making it a "positive" and thus comparable to a modern-day photograph.

Yes, the face is indeed gaunt, the nose is narrow, and the hair seems to fall straight (far too straight, as others have remarked in questioning whether the image is indeed that of a real person lying supine). But do you the reader “see” that the gauntness is the result of dark vertical bands on the outer part of the cheeks? I see the entire image of the face as being dark (in the negative on the left) except for certain sunken features, with that sudden sharp cut-off both left and right. Why should the sharp demarcation be attributed to banding when it is so symmetrical, left and right? Why should it be attributed to banding when the dark area ceases at the hairline? Why should it be attributed to banding when there is an imprint of a crease that passes transversely across the dark area, showing that the dark area is/was perfectly capable of accepting an image, albeit of a chance ruck in the material?

Why are we being asked to buy into the idea that the sudden bilateral and symmetrical cut-off of facial image is the result of banding due to weaving when it looks for all the world like a failure of the imprinting process to operate around the sides?  Is that not the likely explanation – that the imaging is poor in capturing “3D-ness”, as is abundantly, some might say painfully apparent in the fact that the Shroud comprises two entirely separate images, one front and one back – WITH NO SIDES. Is the cut-off mask-like appearance of the face not simply a manifestation on a smaller scale of the essential ‘flatness’ of the Shroud image which to put it in simple irreverent terms is akin to a pair of cardboard cutouts?

So why are we being soft-soaped into accepting that the cut-off face is just a result of irregularities in the colour of the linen? Since when have irregularities produced such remarkable bilateral symmetry about the long axis?

“Fourier transform filters can be used to mathematically find these bands and minimize their effect. Notice how filtering seems to change the shape of the face and nose and makes the eyes look more normal. The hair is less forward. It doesn’t actually change the shape of the face; it merely minimizes the background noise and allows details to emerge.”

Yes, the shape of the face is changed. It now looks less gaunt, i.e. wider. But that’s because there is now infilling between cut-off and the vertical length of hair on both sides. But the infilling imparts no new information WHATSOEVER. It is simply pixellated noise, and as will seen later, there is a better method* of exploring that gap, one that does not involve fancy mathematics which simply detect and remove banding.

“It is very unlikely that the linen cloth used for the Shroud was produced in medieval Europe. Such cloth was field bleached after weaving. Medieval European linen was not hank-bleached. Instead, the woven cloth was soaked in hot lye solution, washed, soaked in sour milk and washed again. Other ingredients, like cattle urine were sometimes used, as well. Following this treatment the cloth was spread out in fields in the sun. This process eliminated variegation.To my way of thinking banding provides strong evidence that the cloth is not medieval.”

All very interesting, but these are generalisations. No hard, unequivocal evidence is presented to say how the Shroud fabric was processed. In any case, one might ask whether top-quality linen, free of “variegation” would have been used for a burial Shroud that few would see, regardless of era, especially one used to hastily wrap an unwashed blood-stained cadaver.  Far from providing “strong evidence” the banding provides ZERO evidence as regards the fabric’s age. The fabric’s age can and has been established by C-14-dating. It is absurd to use the kind of anecdotal evidence above as if it were the only evidence available, as if the C-14 data, no matter how strongly contested, has never existed. This is not science. It is story-telling.

“It also provides a strong argument against opaque imaging methods. That would certainly be some paints, the metals produced from photosensitive salts.  I don’t know about scorching. I rather suspect that it would not prohibit very light scorching.”

Opaque imaging methods? Paint? Photosensitive salts?  Why are these being discussed at this late stage, given that the weight of evidence is that the Shroud image is intrinsic to the fabric itself (even if, as Raymond Rogers tendentiously suggested, a residue of starch or natural soap  was acquired in linen manufacture)  as distinct from something painted on to represent the image of a crucified man?

Scorching?  Now we are talking…  But I am not using my critique of all the special pleading we see above  as a vehicle for my own pet theory, at least not yet.. That can come later.  The purpose of my dissecting this post, paragraph by paragraph, is to show the way that observation and subjective interpretation have been finely interwoven, leaving the reader with nothing except the poster’s take-away message – namely that the Shroud is much older than the C14 data indicate, and that any peculiarities in the image are explainable in terms of shortcomings in 1st century AD quality control at the linen flax extraction/bleaching/weaving stage .

What we see here is a prime example of the “clutching at straws” that we see throughout the entire Shroud literature.  I repeat – this is not science. It is make-believe,  but dressed up in pseudo-scientific terms to give it an entirely undeserved air of authority.  Didn’t you just love that resort to Fourier transforms, as if they added anything useful?

“The most significant aspect of banding is realizing that the man whose image appears on the shroud may not have looked like we think he does”

Yes, but that’s assuming it was a real man who was imaged on the Shroud. In the absence of a proper explanation for the cut-off mask-like image, one is entitled to ask if that was the case  Ah, but that’s the question one is not supposed to ask. Cue deliberate and calculated red herring – like the issue of “banding”, strictly the preserve of wise old heads  “in the know” …

*  In fact, Barrie Schwortz, whilst not my favourite blog commentator, but by all accounts a highly professional photographer (he was part of the original STURP investigation team) has achieved some imaging of those two peripheral zones without  resort to fast Fourier transforms. He simply adjusted the RGB luminance of the images to reveal some weak imaging that was vaguely visible anyway (with the eye of faith) and which is reassuringly a continuation of the existing image – and thus credible. In other words, the sides of the face did not totally escape imaging, but were only weakly imaged. That could be seen as providing a clue to the imaging mechanism –  about which i shall have some more to say later.


About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
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10 Responses to How the Shroud’s mask-like face is explained away as irregularities in the linen – a prime example of misinformation and/or clutching at straws

  1. colinsberry says:

    Here is a (fairly typical) response from “Chris” on the site that provides a refuge and succour to the Shroudie ‘true believers’ and flat-earthers who apparently need this icon as a prop for their faith.

    “I love how the whole banding drives Colin to distraction. It so completely undercuts his bankrupt medieval scorch theory he has to somehow discount it. So far, not convincing . . . at all.”

    I am saving my “medieval scorch theory” till later. For the moment. I’d simply point out that it provides an obvious explanation for why the Shroud image is a peculiar “pseudo-negative” with light/dark reversal, one that looks neither attractive nor realistic until it is photographed to restore familiar light/dark tonalities. There’s a lot more going for the scorch theory than just that – a lot lot more – but I thought I would mention the pseudo-negative theory as evidence that, far from being a “bankrupt theory”, it is the only one to my knowledge that explains why pilgrims viewing the Shroud had to be (dis?)content with a seemingly wild-eyed image for centuries until photography came along in the 19th century. Scorching also accounts for the so-called “encoded 3D information” in the Shroud image. Model studies, my own recent ones included, show that scorching by contact/conduction is a method par excellence for capturing, storing and imprinting information re the relief and contours of a 3D or semi-3D object. I have chosen as my avatar a 3D-enhanced scorchograph, taken from an English horse brass with a bas relief image of King George the Si,si,si, Sixth. (Wasn’t that a magnificent and heartening film, just?)

  2. colinsberry says:

    From DaveB of Wellington, NZ:

    “Like a mini-version of The Terminator, “He’s back!!” A sad case, but not the first brilliant scientist with major achievements to his credit, who through obsession screws up in other research. We only remember their successes, and overlook their failures.
    1) Aristotle’s Biology became a classic which survived into the European Enlightenment, but he screwed up badly in his Physics.
    2) Robert Hooke, devised many inventions and devices for the Royal Society, including his invention of the microscope, but refused to accept Newton’s Theory of Light, and persisted in his belief that colours arose from a mixture of Darkness and Light.
    3) Johannes Kepler who first postulated the elliptic orbit of Mars, believed that the space between the planets was comprised of Platonic polyhedra.
    4) Galileo Galilei was unwilling to accept Kepler’s elliptic orbits, and preferred to maintain a Platonic ideal of circular motion for the planets and moon.
    5) Isaac Newton spent much of his final years in pursuing the mystical notions of Hermetic philosophy, and despite his universal renown, quarreled with everybody, including tearing out several pages from his Prinicipia which referred to John Flamsteed’s work.
    6) Few scientists in the 17th c would accept the pioneering work of Niklaus Steno in geology, but preferred to believe that fossil shells either grew in the parent rock or were the remnants of the Noachian flood.
    7) Huygen’s theory of light as a wave gave way to Newton’s theory that light was comprised of corpuscles. When Thomas Young’s experiments with interference patterns demonstrated that light was indeed a wave there was an outcry from scientists in Britain offended that their hero was being challenged. It was left to the European Fresnel to develop the wave theory of light. Even so the wave character of light must have been evident to Newton from his light rings observable during lens grinding and the fringe patterns at the edges of his prism colours.
    9) Despite chemists working on the hypothesis of an atomic theory for some 100 years, Ernst Mach would not accept Boltzmann’s atomic theory working from statistical mechanics, declaring as late as 1905 that he did not believe in atoms which were merely conjectural. Mach’s influence with the European academies resulted in Boltzmann committing suicide.
    10) Albert Einstein could not accept the random behaviour of quanta, and spent the last years of his life fruitlessly searching for underlying variables that did not exist.
    11) Einstein had demonstrated that no object with mass could exceed the speed of light, as otherwise the mass would become infinite. Recent LHC work indicates that neutrinos may very well exceed the speed of light.
    All these men had remarkable scientific achievements to their credit, yet they were clearly not infallible, and their obsession with some pet theory would sometimes lead them well astray and off the mark.
    We need to remember this when faced with unsupported narrowly-focused pontifications from a scientist with much to his credit, and whose principal defence appears to accuse his opposition of pseudo-science, or of claims of personal ad hom arguments.
    With so much unknown about the origins of the Shroud image, it is unfortunate that so much effort is being expended on a lame-duck theory, when there may well be more fruitful lines of enquiry to pursue.

    My reply:

    “The most defining characteristic of the Shroud image is its negative, i.e. light/dark reversed character. Yet it is invariably the reversed image that fronts any publicity. Scarcely if any comment in the Shroud literature is given to the reasons why that image with no known photographic emulsion should be a negative. Well, previous researchers may have opted to neglect that most defining of characteristics, and have foisted on their readers vague allusions to radiation without any known focusing system or other image-creating mechanism, but this old science bod will continue to plough his lonely furrow with or without votes of confidence in his scientific competence. I’ve been out on a limb before, and never had occasion to regret it later. There’s always a first time, of course, but until someone here can offer an explanation for that negative image, then I for one shall not be nervously looking over my shoulder.

    Are you reading this, all you big shot Jacksons, Schwortzes, Porters, Di Lazzaros etc etc ? Come on: if you know so much more than me about the Shroud, then explain that negative image. If you can’t, then stop expressing surprise and dismay that I should continue to assert that we are looking at a contact scorch. Instead be thinking of ways of verifying or falsifying an entirely reasonable and rational proposition.

    Come on now. Rise to the challenge, anyone and everyone. Explain what mechanism other than physical contact with a hot surface, without an air gap, is capable of producing a negative image…”

  3. colinsberry says:

    Here is a flavour of the kind of response my attempts to tell it the way it is receive on The Other Site. I’ve included my own responses too.
    Oh man, what can one say? Here you have a man who claims to be a scientist and the ‘protector’ of “objectivity and the reputation of science”, then can make such a irresponsible claim that only “true believers” refuse to accept the C-14 evidence!….Seriously, that may be the most untruthful and unscientific comment I have ever heard! What about objectivity when talking about the ‘SINGLE’ C-14 test,..same sample done by three different labs, not representing the whole? What about; even a high school science student realizes/recognizes C-14 is not infallible and yes even prone to errors. No scientist would ever claim C-14 is the FINAL word…EVER! If one does they are just simply, IDIOTs and definately not being “objective” or scientific. One must remember ALL aspects of the item being tested must be weighed and one aspect alone carries very little weight on it’s own.
    As for the C14 test done on the Shroud, Colin, be a man and admit your wrong, get over it and move on.
    Anyone with a sense of objectivity or with a slight bit of common sense would admit it was botched and move on. Move on, in lets push for more PROPER scientific testing of the Shroud.

    Colin Berry
    You are allowed to believe the C-14 dating has produced a wrong answer, Ron. You are allowed to believe that the portion taken had been more than 50% replaced with more modern linen and/or cotton. You are allowed to believe it was done by fiendishly clever invisible weaving with cunningly dyed thread spliced end-to-end to resemble the original. You are allowed to believe Rogers’ designer vanillin decay curves. In fact, you are allowed to believe whatever you want.

    Just don’t expect me, a seasoned science bod, to believe that all this hot-under-the-collar special pleading represents objective science. Don’t try to draw me into your denialist flat-earther world, because, if the truth be told, I have seen this kind of thing over and over again, and it makes not the slightest impression on me.
    If you don’t like what you hear, then the answer is simple. Get the Shroud custodians to repeat the C-14 dating. In the meantime, stop the whingeing, stop the name-calling, and reflect on the possibility that you are being taken for a ride, with this site providing the wheels.


    I don’t care about all the points you mention in your first paragraph, they mean nothing to my statement!…The simple fact that you and others can accept a ‘single’ radiocarbon dating test as ‘proof’ or ‘fact’ to the age of an object is just complete nonsense. Definately not “objective science” and I would say makes the field of science look much, much worse then anything you might claim about STURP or other Shroud science put forth.
    By you accepting the 1988 C-14 dating, as the means to end all question of the age of the Shroud, shows a complete lack of logic, scientific objectivity, honesty and dare I say bias. You know I’m right Colin.
    Let’s say they decided to carbon date the Declaration of Independence, and the tests came back at 1840 conclusively. Would everyone change the history books because of that one test? or would they take all other known and relevant information and conclude the ‘dating test’ must be wrong? …This is my point.

    Colin Berry

    “…Definitely not “objective science” and I would say makes the field of science look much, much worse…

    In just those few words alone, you have demonstrated why a site like my “strawshredder” was needed. Not content with misusing the tools of science over decades, Shroudology and its camp followers are now attacking science and scientists for having come up with the wrong answer on the C-dating.
    “By you accepting the 1988 C-14 dating, as the means to end all question of the age of the Shroud, shows a complete lack of logic, scientific objectivity, honesty and dare I say bias.”
    That is actually defamatory – character assassination in fact. I’m glad I set up the new site, to tell the world what happens to any scientist who attempts to tell it the way it is. Small wonder we have a virtually unchallenged edifice of pseudo-science from all those numerous Shroud symposia, aka “let’s make it up as we go along”.
    You have provided an example of what I am minded to call “the New Dark Age of Unreason”, one in which the tools of science are first misapplied, and which then become weaponised and turned on any real scientist who has the temerity to protest.
    I am course recording all this for posterity on my own site…

  4. colinsberry says:

    From Paulette

    Colin, how dare you say, “Just don’t expect me, a seasoned science bod, to believe that all this hot-under-the-collar special pleading represents objective science. Don’t try to draw me into your denialist flat-earther world, because, if the truth be told, I have seen this kind of thing over and over again, and it makes not the slightest impression on me.”

    You were speaking of course about the carbon dating. I recently served on jury duty. First the prosecution made their case. The police evidence was clear. He was guilty, it seemed. Then the defense brought forth some excellent chemists. They disassembled the prosecutions case, piece by piece. For all the world it was clear now, he was not guilty. We retired to deliberate. But an stuborn, retired “police bod” could not accept the possibility that the police labs had been wrong. He held out for four days before the judge declared a mistrial. An innocent man will be retried because of jury nullification by irrational denialism.

    Colin, you are clearly the xxx denialist, here. The evidence that the carbon dating was messed up is overwhelming. At the very least there is reasonable doubt and the carbon 14 test results must be set aside. Seasoned science bod, ha. Questioning is what science is supposed to be about. (xxx represents editing. Dan)

    Colin Berry

    On the contrary, Paulette, it is you and some others here who are acting as, prosecution counsel, expert witness, judge and jury – all rolled into one. And why? Because you do not like the initial verdict.

    If you consider the initial verdict wrong, then kindly stop biting the head off someone who acknowledges the less-than-ideal restrictions placed on the sampling of the fabric, as I’m sure would the carbon-dating labs themselves.

    But I am not prepared as you are to reject the results out of hand, and see your objections, indeed contempt of the testing protocols and three laboratories as self-serving. I see too much partisan clutching at straws, or in Ray Rogers’ case that single allegedly spliced thread. If you think the result is non-reproducible, then there is a simple answer. Campaign instead for the testing to be repeated, instead of attacking science and the scientists.

    Next time, see that the labs get multiple random samples, instead of being fobbed off as they were with one strip from a corner (which can then be oh so conveniently described as “unrepresentative” or better still “repaired” when it returns the wrong answer).

  5. colinsberry says:

    From Dan Porter, who hosts ( “The Other Site”)

    Colin, we don’t know how the image is formed. Oh, yes, some of us may have pet theories, favorite hypotheses. Some of us day dream about possibilities – the mustard seed of science. We have taken up the challenge and so far have failed. We don’t know how the image is formed. Nor do you.

    We admit it freely. You do not.

    What have you done? You’ve scorched some linen. You’ve shown that it can produce a negative image. Good start. But can scorching produce a superficial image? You have tried to show that it can by scorching an onion skin, easily 1000 times as thick as the image, placed over a piece of linen and shown that the linen underneath was not scorched. That experiment is fraught with so many problems that it cannot even be thought of as a scientific experiment. (One might even suspect that there was some confusion between microns and nanometers). On the other hand Di Lazzaro showed and explained why scorching could not produce a superficial image on a fiber. Unable to criticize his work, you, like the creationist-scientists who ignore fossil records while claiming that dinosaurs walked the earth among the offspring of the biblical Adam and Eve less that 10,000 years ago, have decided to simply ignore factual scientific observations.

    You write, “If you can’t, then stop expressing surprise and dismay that I should continue to assert that we are looking at a contact scorch. Instead be thinking of ways of verifying or falsifying an entirely reasonable and rational proposition.”

    Surprised, yes; dismayed, no. We have suggested many ways to verify your assertion that it is a scorch. You tried to get away by telling us that it was up to us to prove you wrong. Wrong! (One might even suspect that there was some confusion between falsifiability and falsificationism).

    It is simple, my friend. Provide evidence of 1) a fiber scorched by your methods that is scorched only to a depth of 200 nanometers, 2) a yarn segment which is also superficially scorched only to a depth of two or three fibers, 3) a piece of linen cloth that is scorched on the reverse side as well as the front as is the case with the hair and mustache of the man whose image is “somehow portrayed” on the shroud, 4) a bit of scorch image removed from the surface of linen cloth by sticky tape, 5) a scorched image on cloth that is extremely faint or an explanation that is more than unscientific speculation as to how the scorch faded with time and 6) a demonstration of shading by scorch that replicates the halftone effect seen in the shroud.

    Colin, unless you can demonstrate most of these characteristics experimentally and not by verbal contortionism , I am far more inclined to think that Leonardo da Vinci created the shroud with proto-photographic methods and I’m about 100% certain that he didn’t.

    Colin Berry

    As I said on a previous occasion, Dan, I now refuse to be drawn into discussing here, i.e. your site, the fine detail of the science and technology, given the previous lacing of replies, yours included with ad hom asides,

    If you really wish to discuss experimental protocols etc, then it will have to be on my site, where I reserve the right to block comments from those who persistently make personal attacks. (Nope,unlike you I do not pre-moderate beyond the first comment (WordPress default) or threaten to edit in a control-freak fashion – I block entirely if I begin to feel insulted or intimidated.

    But I will say this. You and others suddenly seem highly expert and knowledgeable about scorching, and what it can and cannot achieve. Perhaps you could supply some links to yours or others’ published work on cellulose and hemicellulose pyrolysis.

    But please omit Paolo Di Lazzaro’s with his hot euro coin experiment, the one you reported here not so long ago, which was performed at a single arbitrary temperature, based on literature values for pyrolytic weight loss. It is not weight loss that is the relevant criterion in the present context, but visibility to the naked eye, e.g. that of a medieval pilgrim, of a scorched-on image.The latter may well be achievable at temperatures lower than those that result in weight loss. I notice that he failed to respond to my objection, or my own experiments with heated coins, and later with good old English horse brasses.

    Note added in proof. I may return later and address some of the technical points raised in Dan Porter’s comment, but it will be here, not on his site.

  6. colinsberry says:

    From DaveB of Wellington, NZ:

    “… I think I may have an explanation why the discussion re “scorching” has been going absolutely nowhere for some little time now. I thought it seemed I recognised the symptoms from some undergraduate reading many long years ago. I searched my Encyc Brit on “Freud” and “projection” – came up with this set of extracts:
    1 “Defense Mechanism – in psychoanalytic theory, any of a group of mental processes that enables the mind to reach compromise solutions to problems that it is unable to resolve. The process is usually unconscious, and the compromise generally involves concealing from oneself internal drives or feelings that threaten to lower self-esteem or provoke anxiety.”
    2 “Projection is a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world. A common form of projection occurs when an individual, threatened by his own angry feelings, accuses another of harbouring hostile thoughts.”
    3 “Denial is the conscious refusal to perceive that painful facts exist. … ”
    4 “Rationalization is the substitution of a safe and reasonable explanation for the true (but threatening) cause of behaviour.”
    I should also add that the extract has this rider: “…defensive activity is in itself considered no sign of pathology.”
    There is nothing ad hom intended about this, it is after all a reputable source. It’s just that I for one am getting just a little bit tired of so much circular argumentation, when I would prefer some genuine enlightenment for a pleasant change, my main purpose in visiting this site.”

    Colin Berry

    I hope I am not expected to respond to all that psychobabble claptrap – which is of course more DaveB-ish ad hom, the kind he revels and excels in, despite his preemptive attempt at denial.

    Anyone here who still has their feet on terra firma, and a head addressing the scientific essentials – instead of fashioning these oh-so-lovingly-crafted putdowns – might care to take a quick look at an image from my own site. It demonstrates the amazing ability of a scorch to capture detail that can then be computer-enhanced:

    Yes, it is a scorch mark obtained simply by pressing hot brass onto linen, then inverting the image back to a positive, and then given a little 3D enhancement so as to more closely resemble the original brass. Amazing, wouldn’t you say? One can even read the lettering.

    Each time I look at the post-19th century reversed image of the man in the Shroud, and am tempted to think “How could a scorch generate so serene, so soft-focus an image, merely by converting pseudo-negative sepia-tints to positive silver grains or digital equivalent – I think of my King George VI horse brass…

    I am now minded to make my horse brass the subject of my next post, as a way of addressing the collective blind spot that exists in the Sindo-no-logic-al community…

  7. colinsberry says:

    Comment from DaveB, Wellington, NZ

    “I believe that a reputable authority such as Encyclopaedia Britannica would not indulge in “psychobabble”, but qualifies its remarks quite clearly “… in psychoanalytic theory …”
    Colin seems to think it’s ad hom argument; Strange, I didn’t say as to where or to whom it might apply. I’m quite capable of recognising how recourse to “defence mechanisms” might very well apply to myself in certain stressful situations.
    Let those who can read, judge for themselves how it might apply elsewhere!

    Agreed that the King George positive image is indeed very clear. I wonder to what depth the original negative penetrated? But that’s not stated!

    As I mentioned previously, I’d prefer to see a move onto some other more enlightening topics for a change, rather than giving any further traction to this scorching hypothesis, which seems to be going nowhere.”

    Colin Berry

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    (Yup, the control freak is back)

    “…this scorching hypothesis, which seems to be going nowhere.”

    “The reason it is not going anywhere is because Shroudologists, starting and finishing with John Jackson, dropped it like the proverbial hot potato when it proved too successful – like displaying encoded 3D information of remarkably high quality (which Jackson immediately belittled on the basis of minor imperfections like “flattening of the image”)

    It’s not going anywhere because scorching is what happens when there is intimate contact between a hot body and linen, which does not lend itself to miraculous scenarios involving flashes of high energy radiation.

    And they kid themselves they are “scientists”, all to a man looking forward to their next Shroudie symposium, their next sensationalist paper in the non-peer reviewed symposium proceedings. You couldn’t make it up – unless that is you are a Shroudie so-called scientist, in which case making it up (as you go along) is the name of the game. Isn’t that right, Dr. Di Lazzaro?”

    • Your scorch theory does not explain the blood from a man who was tortured being on the linen.

      • Colin Berry says:

        Let me guess, Bryan Hercules Hart. You have deployed that word “tortured” having accepted at face value Adler and Heller’s ‘bilirubin story’.

        Maybe you’re not aware but between 1970 and 1972 I spent two years researching the response of bilirubin to visible light (as in phototherapy of neonatal jaundice) long before STURP was around. The notion that there is still bilirubin in blood that has been exposed to light and oxygen for centuries, even intermittently in the case of light, displays a photochemical blind spot. So does the methodology (or rather, lack thereof) deployed to “prove” the presence of bilirubin. The only way to do that is to isolate the tetrapyrrole and run it against standards on chromatography, coupled with some kind of chemical fingerprinting technique, e.g. mass spectrometry. Adler and Heller did neither. They simply said that anomalies in the porphyrin spectrum could have been due to admixture with “extraordinary” amounts of bilirubin (where’s the evidence?) and then mixed the two together in the test-tube together to obtain the “same” spectrum. Sorry, but that ain’t anything that I recognize as science. It’s cookery.

  8. Pingback: Is the Man on the Turin Shroud a pseudo-negative imprint from a death mask? (Could that be why the modern-day photographic negative looks so much better than the original?). | Casting a critical eye at that Shroud of Turin

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