Thursday, May 10, 2012

You state that `there is no paint, dye or pigment on the Shroud that forms its image' but it is claimed that `the Shroud contains red ochre and other paint pigments'

Gio

Thanks for you comment on my post "De Wesselow fails to answer the reasons why rational people accept the Shroud is a fake."As I briefly

[Right: Shroud skeptic Joe Nickell, whose "Ph.D. is in English for graduate work focusing on literary investigation and folklore" posing as a white-coated scientist!: Source: joenickell.com. Presumably that is yet another of the "over 200 `personas'" of Joe Nickell, which include "stage magician, carnival pitchman, private detective, blackjack dealer, riverboat manager, university instructor, author, and paranormal investigator" ("Joe Nickell," Wikipedia, 6 May 2012).]

commented in reply, "I will answer it in a separate [this] blog post." Your words are >bold to distinguish them from mine.

>You state here that "there is no paint, dye or pigment on it [the Shroud] that forms its image".

Yes, "that forms its image".

>But here: http://www.skepticblog.org/2011/12/23/shroud-of-turin-redux/ it is claimed that "the Shroud contains red ochre and other paint pigments".

Yes, but they do not form the Shroud's image. They are just random tiny flecks of paint and pigment, which were probably caused by artists' copies of the Shroud being pressed against it to `sanctify' them:

"One of the greatest mysteries about the Shroud is how the image was formed - and this mystery has not been solved. We know how it was not formed. It was definitely not painted, as there are absolutely no traces of any kind of paint, (except for tiny particles left by painted copies when they were pressed to the Shroud in order to `sanctify' the copy) and there is no direction in the outline, which is impossible on a painting." (Guscin, M., "The Oviedo Cloth," 1998, p.33)

"However, the S.T.U.R.P. scientists who examined the cloth directly reported that, while there were some isolated flecks on parts of the cloth, these flecks had nothing to do with the formation of the images. It was pointed out that often in the long history of the Shroud other paintings would be laid over the Shroud to somehow sanctify such paintings and that this process left an occasional microscopic trace of paint or pigment on the cloth." (Iannone, J.C., "The Mystery of the Shroud of Turin," 1998, pp.179-180. Emphasis original).

Even Shroud anti-authenticists Picknett & Prince concede that it is "negative" that there are "artificial pigments-inks or dyes-on the image," apart from "microscopic traces of pigment on the Shroud" due to it having "been in contact with painted copies, which were often held against it to `sanctify' them":

"Most of the experiments conducted by the STURP team were designed to detect artificial pigments-inks or dyes-on the image. The results were negative, except in the view of one member of the team, Dr. Walter McCrone. He received a good deal of publicity in the months after the testing by claiming not only that he had found and identified the paint that made up the image, but also that he had worked out the actual method used by the forger. (The qualification `that made up the image' is important: there is no dispute that there are microscopic traces of pigment on the Shroud. It is known to have been in contact with painted copies, which were often held against it to `sanctify' them.)" (Picknett, L. & Prince, C., "The Turin Shroud: How Da Vinci Fooled History," 2007, p.72).

>Is this claim false, or is the author (citing Nickell) aware of something I'm not?

If the claim is "the Shroud contains red ochre and other paint pigments" it is true. But if the claim is that that that "red ochre and other paint pigments" formed the Shroud image, it is false.

You are no doubt referring to the following claims about the Shroud in the blog post, "Shroud of Turin Redux," by Daniel Loxton, Skepticblog, December 23, 2011 (Loxton's words are bold to distinguish them from mine):

The bottom line on the Shroud remains the same: the Shroud continues to fail several key practical tests, as discussed by skeptical investigator Joe Nickell in his classic work on the subject, Looking for a Miracle:

• Provenance: there is no sign that this object existed before the 14th century;

Nickell in the reference Loxton cited states:

"In fact, the shroud's provenance (or historical record) tells against it. The New Testament makes no mention of Jesus's shroud being preserved. (Indeed, John's gospel describes multiple cloths, including a `napkin' over the face-a description that is incompatible with the shroud.) In fact, there is no mention of this particular `shroud' for some thirteen centuries ...'" (Nickell, J., "Looking for a Miracle: Weeping Icons, Relics, Stigmata, Visions & Healing Cures," Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, 1993, p.25).

Nickell's claim that "The New Testament makes no mention of Jesus's shroud being preserved" is an example of the "Argument from Silence fallacy." As I pointed out in my two-part post, "Re: John Calvin on the Shroud," the disciples had a very good reason not to mention that they had Jesus shroud with His image imprinted on it: their much more numerous and powerful enemies, the Romans and Jews would demand they hand it over to them, and torture them to death if they refused. But what is significant is that the New Testament goes out of its way to mention in all four gospels, that Jesus was buried in a "linen" shroud (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53; Jn 19:40)!

Equally fallacious is Nickell's non sequitur claim that because "John's gospel describes multiple cloths, including a `napkin' over the face," therefore one of those multiple cloths could not be the Shroud! The "`napkin' over the face", i.e. "the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself" (Jn 20:7 KJV) corresponds to the Sudarium of Oviedo the bloodstains of which perfectly match those on the head of the Shroud image.

As for Loxton's claim that "there is no sign that this object existed before the 14th century," this is false. There is a chain of historical references to what can only be the Shroud, dating back to at least the sixth century, but there is no space to mention them here. But what I will mention is the overwhelming "beyond reasonable doubt" artistic evidence that the Shroud existed from the 6th to the 12th century. See my ongoing series of posts on the Vignon markings beginning with, "Four proofs that the AD 1260-1390 radiocarbon date for the Shroud has to be wrong!: #2 The Vignon markings (1)."

• Art history: the Shroud fits into art history as part of a genre of artistic depictions and recreations of burial cloths of Christ;

This is based on a claim by Nickell:

"It is most suspicious that the shroud should turn up after thirteen centuries with its portrait looking just like more contemporary artistic representations of Jesus. Moreover, the shroud seems the culmination of a lengthy tradition of `not-made-with-hands' portraits ... Thus, from an iconographic point of view, these various traditions coalesce in the Shroud of Turin and suggest it is the work of an artist of the thirteenth century or later." (Nickell, 1993, pp.24-25).

But as the agnostic art historian Thomas De Wesselow admitted of the Shroud, "It's nothing like any other medieval work of art":

"That controversy still rages, but de Wesselow is convinced of the shroud's authenticity from an art history approach. `It's nothing like any other medieval work of art,' de Wesselow said. `There's just nothing like it.' Among the anachronisms, de Wesselow said, is the realistic nature of the body outline. No one was painting that realistically in the 14th century, he said. Similarly, the body image is in negative (light areas are dark and vice versa), a style not seen until the advent of photography centuries later, he said. `From an art historian's point of view, it's completely inexplicable as a work of art of this period,' de Wesselow said.' (Pappas, S., "Did Shroud of Turin Inspire Spread of Christianity?" LiveScience, 5 April 2012).

• Style: the image upon the shroud looks like a manufactured illustration consistent with 14th century religious iconography, not like a real human being;

This is another fallacious claim, that "14th century religious iconography" and depictions of "a real human being" are mutually exclusive. As for the claim that the Shroud image is representative of "14th century religious iconography," being false, see above. Also false is the claim that the Shroud image is "not like a real human being." Suffice it to say that some of the greatest supporters of the Shroud's authenticity are an anatomist (Delage-an agnostic French Professor of anatomy), surgeons (Barbet) and medical doctors (Willis, Lavoie), including medical examiners (Bucklin, Zugibe) whose specialty is dead "real human beings"!

• Circumstance: a 14th century Catholic bishop determined that the Shroud was a "cunningly painted" fraud—and discovered the artist who confessed to creating it;

This refers to the 1389 draft memorandum by the Bishop of Troyes, Pierre d'Arcis, to the Pope claiming that one of his predecessors, Bishop Henri of Poitiers, "thirty-four years or thereabouts" (i.e. about 1355) had, "... discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it ..." (Wilson, I., "The Turin Shroud," 1978, pp.67-68). But problems with this include:

1) It is mere hearsay. That d'Arcis had no documented evidence of his claim is indicated by his vague "or thereabouts" and that he does not cite the name of the artist, which would have been well-known if he actually existed only 34 years before and could even have still been alive.

2) The Shroud image is not painted: there is no paint, dye or pigment on it that forms its image (see above). D'Arcis may have been confusing the Shroud with a painted copy of it.

3) There is no other evidence that Bishop Henri of Poitiers had any problem with the Shroud being exhibited at Lirey church in the 1350s.

4) D'Arcis' memo is merely an unsigned, undated and unaddressed draft. No original of it has ever been found in either the Troyes diocesan archives or the Vatican's, so presumably it was never sent.

5) The Pope in his reply to d'Arcis (confirming that d'Arcis did make some form of protest to the Pope about the Shroud being again exhibited at Lirey church), actually sided with the de Charnys, who owned and exhibited the Shroud, and ordered Bishop d'Arcis to be "perpetually silent" on the matter. There is evidence that the Pope had inside information that the Shroud was genuine, which would explain why he took the side of the impoverished de Charnys over that of a Bishop.

In fact, though he cites Bishop d'Arcis' claim that the Shroud was "cunningly painted," Nickell himself does not believe the Shroud image was painted. That is because in the same chapter of the same book, Nickell espouses his own "alternative to the painting hypothesis" that the Shroud was forged by "rubbing on powdered pigment" onto a linen cloth over a "a bas-relief":

"As an alternative to the painting hypothesis, some two years before McCrone published his findings, I reported the results of my own successful experiments in creating shroudlike `negative' images. The technique involved wet-molding cloth to a bas-relief (used instead of a fully three-dimensional statue to minimize distortion), allowing it to dry, then rubbing on powdered pigment using a dauber-much as one would make a rubbing from a gravestone. This technique automatically yields `negative' images (or rather, just like the shroud, quasi-negative images, since the hair and beard are the opposite of what would be expected). It also produces numerous other shroudlike features, including minimal depth of penetration into the threads, encoded `3-D' information, and other similarities, some of which specifically pointed to some form of imprinting technique." (Nickell, 1993, pp.27-28).

But Nickell cannot have it both ways. If Bishop d'Arcis was right that the Shroud was "painted" then Nickell's "alternative to the painting hypothesis" is wrong, and vice-versa. It is testimony to the self-deception of the so-called Shroud `skeptics' (i.e. true believers in the Shroud's in-authenticity) that they do not seem to notice this glaring contradiction.

• Chemistry: the Shroud contains red ochre and other paint pigments;

Yes, but they do not form the Shroud's image-see above.

>Most of the rest of the article you or somebody you cite have destroyed before it was written, but that really struck me.

I hope this has helped "destroy" it further!

Stephen E. Jones, B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Ed.
My other blogs: CreationEvolutionDesign & Jesus is Jehovah!

9 comments:

Flagrum3 said...

Here in lies one of the biggest problems with the Shroud authenticity debate; People will 'listen' to arguments from people like Nickell's, whom is not a scientist or a chemist or physicist or has any training in any fields which would allow him to make any educated remarks about the Shroud. Yet people keep quoteing his writings. Maybe if they would just check his credentials against those of authors of dozens of peer-reviewed papers, minds might change a bit about the Shroud's authenticity.

It's truly dumbfounding.

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Here in lies one of the biggest problems with the Shroud authenticity debate; People will 'listen' to arguments from people like Nickell's,

St. Paul predicted it in 2Tim 4:3, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,"

The Nickell's of this world are listened to because they tell people without Christ what they want to be true.

Indeed, even Christians, who don't know much about the Shroud, and/or are opposed to it thinking it is just another fake Roman Catholic relic (as I once was) can be taken in my Nickell's plausible-sounding arguments.

Even Christian apologist Josh McDowell has been conned by Nickell, quoting in his "Answers to Tough Questions" 1980, pp.162-164, from atheist Marvin M. Mueller's 1982 article in Skeptical Inquirer (without referencing where it came from) which claimed (falsely) that Nickell's bas relief powder rubbing method can duplicate the Shroud!

In fact McDowell used the same fallacious having-it-both-ways argument as Nickell, citing approvingly Bishop d'Arcis' claim that the Shroud was "painted" and also citing approvingly Nickell's implied claim that the Shroud is a bas relief powder rubbing!

>whom is not a scientist or a chemist or physicist or has any training in any fields which would allow him to make any educated remarks about the Shroud.

Agreed, but Nickell is a gifted writer, who to the man in the street who doesn't know much about the Shroud, sounds convincing.

But Nickell is self-deceived through his mind having being taken captive to the philosophy (Col 2:8) of Naturalism, i.e. the philosophical position that "nature is all there is: there is no supernatural."

He is an example of `the blind leading the blind' (Mt 15:14).

>Yet people keep quoteing his writings.

Again, that's because Nickell tells secular people what they want to hear. Who have neither the time or the inclination to check what he claims.

>Maybe if they would just check his credentials against those of authors of dozens of peer-reviewed papers, minds might change a bit about the Shroud's authenticity.

Most people, including so-called `skeptics', haven't got the time or inclination to read the Shroud pro-authenticity web articles and books, let alone peer-reviewed journal papers.

>It's truly dumbfounding.

It is all part of the Plan:

Isa 14:26 NIV "This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations."

The One whose image is on the Shroud has told us that it is His purpose to let the weeds grow with the wheat until the harvest:

Mt 13:27-30. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, `Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' 28 He said to them, `An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?' 29 But he said, `No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

when they will be separated by Him into their respective eternal destinations.

The Nickell's of this world think they are destroying Christianity, when all along they are unwittingly obeying it!

Stephen E. Jones

Flagrum3 said...

Stephen, thank-you for that last passage and your final comment. It has actually made me feel better about this whole mess and my bewilderment to people's opposition to the Shroud and the Lord's teachings.

F3

Stephen E. Jones said...

Flagrum3

>Stephen, thank-you for that last passage and your final comment. It has actually made me feel better about this whole mess and my bewilderment to people's opposition to the Shroud and the Lord's teachings.

Glad I was able to help. Here is a verse that just occurred to me:

Romans 3:3 NASB. What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

And also remember that we Christians have read the end of the book (Rev 22:1-5) and we win!:

"When things get bad and you can't stand to look
It's time to read to the end of the book
Don't put it down 'til you get to the end
When Jesus come and His Kingdom begins
... we win ..." (Michael W. Smith,
"End of the Book." My emphasis).

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

Some have claimed that the image is the result of a Bas Relief rubbing technique.

I have not read that this idea is completely refuted. However, I am personally skeptical that a rubbing could produce an image such as this.
Do you have any references that offer a response to the "rubbing technique" claim?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>Some have claimed that the image is the result of a Bas Relief rubbing technique. ... Do you have any references that offer a response to the "rubbing technique" claim?

See my post, "`I heard the Shroud image was made by a bas-relief metal sculpture heated'."

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.

Anonymous said...

I'm still very confused about the paint issue...if I have read McCrone correctly, he says that there are traces of red ochre that make up the body image, and red vermillion that make up the blood image. And he found no pigment on the non-image areas. I realize that these results were not peer reviewed, but if he is wrong, it seems like a rookie mistake...which only leaves the option that he lied, since he was a highly respected microscoptist. This is certainly possible, but I don't like to make an assumption that a scientist is fabricating data.

It sounds like STURP scientist are cliaming that yes, there are paint particles, but they don't form the image. Are they also claiming that there are only red ochre and red vermillion, or do they claim that multiple pigments are visible? If there are only the two, it would seem odd that only two pigments would be found from 'sanctifying' other 'shrouds' against the 'real Shroud'. You would expect multiple pigments, I would imagine.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>I'm still very confused about the paint issue...if I have read McCrone correctly, he says that there are traces of red ochre that make up the body image, and red vermillion that make up the blood image.

There is no blood image. The blood is REAL blood.

And as red ochre making up the body image, McCrone COULD NOT have legitimately said that because he only examined STURP's sticky tapes which were taken only from NON-IMAGE areas.

McCrone found what he was looking for-isolated particles of red ochre and vermilion on STURP's sticky tapes of NON-IMAGE areas and he UNSCIENTIFICALLY:

1) extrapolated from those isolated red ochre and vermillion particles on sticky tapes from NON-IMAGE areas of the Shroud, that the blood is comprised of vermillion pigment and the body IMAGE must be comprised of red ochre; and

2) did not consider alternative explanations for the red ochre and vermillion that it was left behind on the Shroud when artists pressed their copies of the Shroud to the Shroud to confer a blessing on their copies.

>And he found no pigment on the non-image areas.

If that were the case then he would have found no pigment AT ALL because McCrone never went to Turin with STURP to examine the Shroud itself. ALL that McCrone had for study was STURP's sticky tapes, and STURP was not permitted to, and did not, press their sticky tapes to image areas of the Shroud.

>I realize that these results were not peer reviewed, but if he is wrong, it seems like a rookie mistake...

McCrone signed a STURP agreement that he would only publish his findings in peer-reviewed scientfic journals, as other STURP findings were, but he reneged and published them in his own journal, The Microscope and in the media. Why? The answer must be because he knew deep down that his findings would not survive peer-review because they were WRONG.

McCrone was an atheist/agnostic and extremely biased against the Shroud's authenticity. In 1981, AFTER he had examined STURP's sticky tapes and handed them back he made the most unscientific admission:

"I believe the shroud is a fake, but I cannot prove it." (McCrone, W.C., in Murphy, C., "Shreds of Evidence," Harper's Magazine, November, 1981, pp.42-65, pp.54-55).

So even McCrone admitted that his finding red ochre and vermillion on sticky tapes from NON-IMAGE areas of the Shroud did not prove it was a fake. And HOW then did McCrone KNOW that the Shroud was a fake?

>which only leaves the option that he lied, since he was a highly respected microscoptist.

Not necessarily. It could mean that he so much WANTED the Shroud to be a fake that he went BEYOND the scientific evidence available to him and AGAINST the scientific evidence of other STURP scientists.

>This is certainly possible, but I don't like to make an assumption that a scientist is fabricating data.

You are now arguing against a straw man that YOU have created. I do not claim that McCrone "lied" just that he was so biased against the Shroud's authenticity that he went beyond the limited evidence available to him and did not consider alternative explanations.

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>It sounds like STURP scientist are cliaming that yes, there are paint particles, but they don't form the image.

Correct.

>Are they also claiming that there are only red ochre and red vermillion, or do they claim that multiple pigments are visible?

No. STURP found a lot of isolated particles on the Shroud, but they were not more concentrated in the image areas than the non-image areas.

And particles that COULD form the image, like a particular paint, pigment or mixture of same, would have to be ONLY, or at least HIGHLY, concentrated in the image area for it to form the image. And they aren't.

Proof of that is the Shroud has been in at least two very hot fires in 1532 and 1997 and in both case the image was not chemically changed as it would have been if it was formed by pigments.

And in the 1997 fire the Shroud was sprayed with water from firemen's hoses which turned to steam in the Shroud's container, yet the image did not run as it would have if it was a pigment.

>If there are only the two, it would seem odd that only two pigments would be found from 'sanctifying' other 'shrouds' against the 'real Shroud'. You would expect multiple pigments, I would imagine.

There ARE "multiple pigments" on the Shroud, but NONE of them are sufficiently concentrated in the Shroud's image area to form its image.

Stephen E. Jones

-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. I reserve the right to respond to any comment as a separate blog post.