Sunday, July 8, 2007

Leonardo: The Man Behind the Shroud? #2

Leonardo: The Man Behind The Shroud, ABC, 1 Jul 2007 ... Continued from part #1 ... The image of Christ, believers say,

[Above: Leonardo da Vinci, Self-Portrait, c. 1512, Red chalk, 33.3 x 21.3 cm (13 1/8 x 8 3/8 in), Biblioteca Reale, Turin: The Artchive]

was burned into the cloth fibres by the intense heat of resurrection. It was not necessarily "heat" but the only viable explanation is some type of radiation caused by the resurrection of Jesus.

Firstly, as leading sindonologist historian Ian Wilson reported in 1978, "Spectroscopically `body,' `blood,' and burn-mark features all recorded the same intensity" which means that "the Shroud image had pronounced similarities to a scorch" (my emphasis):

"At Albuquerque spectroscopy's relevance was brilliantly demonstrated by Dr. John Jackson. He took an ordinary color photograph of the Shroud supplied to him by Father Otterbein and had this color-scanned in Don Lynn's laboratory to isolate the simple proportions of blue, red, and green present in the different physical features of the image. He gave all these features-the burn marks, the body images, the blood, the hair, etc., different symbols and plotted on a graph their different color intensities compared with their neutral densities as shown up by micro-densitometer scanning. The result was remarkable. Spectroscopically `body,' `blood,' and burn-mark features all recorded the same intensity. Although Jackson was the first to acknowledge that the data he was dealing with were far from ideal, the implication for future research was self-evident-the Shroud image had pronounced similarities to a scorch. The obvious question is how a genuine dead body, cold in the tomb, could produce some kind of burning or radiance sufficient to scorch cloth, acting in so controlled a manner that it dissolved and fused blood flows onto the cloth, yet created at the same time the perfect impression of a human body? The concept is mind-boggling. Yet, if the evidence already presented for the Shroud's authenticity is to be believed, something along these lines appears to be the only explanation." (Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," Book Club Associates: London, 1978, pp.208-209. Emphasis original).

But then, as Wilson noted above, "The obvious question is how a genuine dead body, cold in the tomb, could produce some kind of burning or radiance sufficient to scorch cloth ...Yet ... something along these lines appears to be the only explanation" (my emphasis).

That "some kind of force" ("rather than a substance") seems to have been responsible for the image ... is suggested by the" fact "that the image affected only the topmost surface of the fibers ...and was insoluble and resistant to acids" and "Whatever formed the image was powerful enough to project it onto the linen from a distance of up to four centimeters" (my emphasis):

"Nevertheless the impression is inescapable that, rather than a substance, some kind of force seems to have been responsible for the image. This is suggested by the information in the 1973 commission's report that the image affected only the topmost surface of the fibers, and whatever created it had neither seeped nor penetrated the fibers and was insoluble and resistant to acids. Whatever formed the image was powerful enough to project it onto the linen from a distance of up to four centimeters (according to jumper and Jackson), yet gentle enough not to cause distortion in areas where there would have been direct contact. This factor is particularly obvious on the dorsal image, where the cloth would have received the full weight of the body." (Wilson, 1978, pp.209-210).

Further, "The concept of a force is implicit from the manner in ... the image-forming process" showing "no discrimination between registering the body surface, the hair, the blood, and even inanimate objects-i.e., the two coins ... All would seem to have been imprinted on the cloth with the same even intensity" (my emphasis):

"The concept of a force is implicit from the manner in which the image seems to have been created with a marked upward/downward directionality, without any diffusion, and leaving no imprint of the sides of the body or the top of the head. Also the image-forming process seems to have shown no discrimination between registering the body surface, the hair, the blood, and even inanimate objects-i.e., the two coins discovered by Jackson and Jumper. All would seem to have been imprinted on the cloth with the same even intensity, and with only the most minor color variation in the case of the blood." (Wilson, 1978, p.210).

Since "any diffusion process"( such as painting or vapograph) "would have involved penetration of the fibers ... whatever created the image" (and it may have been, but not necessarily was, "some form of thermonuclear flash") must have been some extremely high intensity, short duration burst, acting evenly upward and downward" in "a mere millisecond of time"(my emphasis):

"The idea, then, of some form of thermonuclear flash being the force in question is obviously more than idle speculation. Dr. jumper certainly treated it seriously, arguing that, as any diffusion process would have involved penetration of the fibers, and as any remotely lingering laser beam would have caused destruction, whatever created the image must have been some extremely high intensity, short duration burst, acting evenly upward and downward. Thermal chemist Ray Rogers of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, who attended the conference, said very much the same thing, using the words `flash photolysis,' and speaking of a mere millisecond of time." (Wilson, 1978, p.210).

Although he wrote it in 1978, nearly 30 years ago, Wilson's scenario of "the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab" when "Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant the ... image ... of the body becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection":

"Even from the limited available information, a hypothetical glimpse of the power operating at the moment of creation of the Shroud's image may be ventured. In the darkness of the Jerusalem tomb the dead body of Jesus lay, unwashed, covered in blood, on a stone slab. Suddenly, there is a burst of mysterious power from it. In that instant the blood dematerializes, dissolved perhaps by the flash, while its image and that of the body becomes indelibly fused onto the cloth, preserving for posterity a literal `snapshot' of the Resurrection." (Wilson, 1978, p.210)

still remains as the only viable explanation.

That is evident in that none of the Shroud's anti-authenticity "detractors" including "Picknett and Prince" has yet offered any ... convincing solution as to how and by whom the Shroud was forged" since if they had, "they would inevitably have created a consensus around which everyone sceptical on the matter would rally" but "so far this has not even begun to happen" (my emphasis):

"As for the fundamental questions for anyone adopting the forgery hypothesis - for example: `Who forged such an extraordinary image?' 'How did he do so without betraying any obvious sign of his artifice?' 'How did he manage to get so much right medically, historically and culturally?' - if you ask yourself whether Sox, or any of the other current detractors, from McCrone and Hall to Picknett and Prince, has yet offered any genuinely satisfying answers, the response has to be no. Indeed, if anyone had come up with a convincing solution as to how and by whom the Shroud was forged, they would inevitably have created a consensus around which everyone sceptical on the matter would rally. Yet so far this has not even begun to happen. Realistically, to date there has been only one genuinely satisfying, albeit still only partial, replication of the Shroud's image, that by Professor Nicholas Allen. And that demands so much ingenuity and advanced photographic knowledge on the part of someone of the Middle Ages that it may actually represent rather better evidence for the Shroud's authenticity than for its forgery." (Wilson, 1998, p.235).

I will respond to Prof. Allen's medieval photography theory in my next post, part #3.

Behind the Cathedral that holds the Shroud, the Library of Palazzo Reale contains the self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. See above and the comparison between it and the face of the Man on the Shroud. Personally the two images have little in common. For starters, unlike the Man on the Shroud, Leonardo is bald on top and has long flowing hair and beard. And as Ian Wilson asks "Of Picknett's and Prince's argument that Leonardo used his own face for the Shroud, one can only wonder whether" he "arranged to have his face specially beaten up to match the man of the Shroud's injuries?":

"Of Picknett's and Prince's argument that Leonardo used his own face for the Shroud, one can only wonder whether the notoriously vain `Maestro', as they refer to him, arranged to have his face specially beaten up to match the man of the Shroud's injuries? Of their claim that the absence of wine on the table of his Last Supper shows Leonardo's anti-Christian leanings, the error of this can readily be seen in Gianpetrino's excellent early copy of this painting, currently on display at Magdalen College, Oxford, in which enough liberally charged wine tumblers for everyone present appear on the table ... Despite the atrocious condition of Leonardo's original painting they can be distinguished readily enough even on this, Picknett's and Prince's mistake seemingly being due to the poor photographs they consulted. As for Pope Innocent VIII's commissioning the Shroud as a cynical publicity exercise, the very suggestion of this is ludicrous, given that the Shroud, of very low-grade credibility in that pope's time, was never even remotely under his control and, for any publicity, cynical or otherwise, he had far better things available to him in Rome." (Wilson, I., "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1998, p.212).

As for "Leonardo's" allegedly "anti-Christian leanings," I will address that in part #4 under the claim that da Vinci was a "heretic."

What is the link between these two remarkable images? None (as we saw in part #1)!

This extraordinary film will weave together different threads of this puzzle. I regret that I missed this documentary. Hopefully it will be repeated eventually.

It explains the enormous significance of the Shroud, and the controversy over its authenticity that has raged in recent years following attempts at scientific study. If the Shroud really is the crucified image of Jesus Christ at the very moment of His resurrection (which seems to be the only viable explanation), then it indeed has enormous significance!

And it asks the question: if it is a fake, who on earth would have had the ability to create it? - for the image on the Shroud is no ordinary painting. Agreed. And if: 1) no one "had the ability to create it" (not even Leonardo da Vinci); or 2) if only Leonardo did have "the ability to create it," but in fact he never did (i.e apart from da Vinci never having the opportunity, why would he want to commit a major art fraud, risking his reputation and even his life, anonymously so he would never get the credit, to just be a copyist of another's work?-see part #1), then, on the principle that, "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" (see `tagline' quote) the Shroud must have been created by Someone not "on earth"!

Experts on the Shroud, on renaissance art, image analysis, forensic science, and crucifixion argue how this strange and mysterious image might have been created - or how it could not have been. Again, not having seen the show, I don't know if they had any "Experts on the Shroud" who argued the pro-authenticity case, but I doubt it.

Was it created photographically, in a camera obscura, was the image burnt on by pressing the cloth against a heated sculpture? No, because "photography was not invented until" the 1800s, "well over four centuries after the very latest date ascribed to the Shroud by radiocarbon dating," i.e. 1390 " (my emphasis):

"If the Shroud really does date from the fourteenth century, yet has neither been painted by a cunning artist, nor `imprinted' using a real-life crucified human body, there does remain one further option: that someone even as long ago as the Middle Ages created it by some photographic means. At first sight this may well seem the most improbable. After all, photography as we know it was not invented until well over four centuries after the very latest date ascribed to the Shroud by radiocarbon dating. And even then its development was a long-drawn-out process, beginning with Thomas Wedgwood's first use of light-sensitive chemicals to copy silhouette images in 1802, then Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's making of the first permanent pictures in 1814, then Louis Jacques Daguerre's introduction of his daguerreotype process in 1839, then Scott Archer's method using light-sensitive silver salts in a collodium film on a glass plate launched in 1851. And even after all that it took another thirty-three years before George Eastman managed to patent the first successful roll film." (Wilson, 1998, p.210).

which was three centuries after Leonardo da Vinci's death in 1519!

I will respond to the "camera obscura" in my next post, part #3, and "the image burnt on by pressing the cloth against a heated sculpture" theories in part #4.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology).
See also my CreationEvolutionDesign blog.


"`How came he, then?' I reiterated. `The door is locked, the window is inaccessible. Was it through the chimney?' The grate is much too small,' he answered. `I had already considered that possibility.' `How then?' I persisted. `You will not apply my precept,' he said, shaking his head. `How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. Whence, then, did he come?' `He came through the hole in the roof,' I cried. `Of course he did. He must have done so. If you will have the kindness to hold the lamp for me, we shall now extend our researches to the room above, - the secret room in which the treasure was found.'" (Doyle, A.C., "The Sign of Four," Penguin: London, 2001, pp.42-43. Emphasis original)

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