Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shroud on SBS 1 Australia at 7:30 pm tonight Sunday 24 March

Apologies for this being late, but as a reader Graeme just reminded me in a comment, Australia's SBS 1 is starting a 5-part series called "Treasures Decoded, the first of which is on the Shroud of Turin at 7:30 tonight, Sunday 24 March:

Treasures Decoded
The Turin Shroud - Discover the remarkable secrets of five of the world’s greatest treasures. Using state-of-the art forensics, experts will unlock their hidden truths for the first time ever. Controversy has raged around the world’s most disputed religious relic since it first surfaced in the 14th century. But now scientific advances have revealed mysterious writing on the Turin Shroud which could finally tell us whether it’s genuine or fake. (From the UK) (Documentary Series) (Part 1 of 5) PG CC

According to my Perth, Western Australia TV guide, it is being shown here tonight at 7:30 PM on SBS 1, so I presume the series is going to be shown in all Australian States at 7:30 PM tonight in each of their respective time zones.

My comments on the documentary, including: 1) Barbara Frales' claimed Hebrew writing on the Shroud; and the naturalistic image formation theories of 2) Luigi Garlashelli's powdered bas relief; 3) Nicholas Allen's medieval photograph and 4) Ray Rogers' Maillard reaction; are below.

Stephen E. Jones


Stephen E. Jones said...

I originally misread the above as a 5-part series on the Shroud (which I did think was a lot) but actually it is a 5-part series called "Treasures Decoded," and only part 1 of that series was on the Shroud. So I have corrected my post above to reflect that.

I watched that part 1 on the Shroud with my wife tonight and I found it to be like the curate's egg: good in parts!

From memory the documentary covered: 1) Barbara Frale's claim that there is Hebrew writing on the Shroud, which was refuted by Barrie Schwortz.

2) Problems with the 1988 radiocarbon dating of the Shroud as "medieval" were also discussed by Barrie Schwortz

Three naturalistic claims to have reproduced the Shroud's image were next considered:

3) Prof. Luigi Garlaschelli's powdered ochre bas relief `reproduction'. Barrie Schwortz examined under a microscope an example of a `shroud' face-only image on linen supplied by Garlaschelli, and he pointed out that Garlaschelli `shroud image' was, unlike the Shroud, based on particulate matter. So Garlaschelli's claim to have reproduced the Shroud was falsified.

4) Prof. Nicholas Allen's claim that the Shroud is a medieval photograph using a camera obscura, a large calcite lens and a silver nitrate emulsion on linen as a photographic plate. Allen's claim was that all the components of photography were present in the Middle Ages, but this is both fallacious and false. It is fallacious, because even if it were true, that would not mean that some unknown medieval genius COMBINED all those components into a photograph (which is the Shroud). It is also false because large, photographic quality lenses did NOT exist in the Middle Ages.

And why did this unknown genius START with the Shroud? Where is his OTHER photographs? And WHO was he? Why was his invention of photography FIVE CENTURIES before the history of photography says photography was invented in the early 19th century forgotten?

Unlike Garlaschelli, Allen did not supply a sample of a `shroud' produced using his method, so that Schwortz could examine it under a microscope. Also, in that part of the docunentary showing Allen making his `shroud', Alen did not use his claimed method of a camera obscura in a large room, with a body hanging in sunlight for days, but he used a small bust statue in a small box.

Barrie Schwortz pointed out that there was NO silver nitrate on the Shroud, but Allen's claim was that it was washed off. But ALL of the silver nitrate, which must have COVERED at least the image area since it was the photographic emulsion, wouldn't have been washed off.

And such washing would also have washed off the blood, which was on the linen before the image (there is no image under the bloodstains), but Allen refutes his own theory (as does Garlaschelli) by claiming the blood was daubed on after the image was on the linen.

However, Allen's `shroud' photograph, for all the un-Shroudlike faults of Allen's claims and method, as has previously been noted by Wilson and others, is the most Shroudlike of all the claimed Shroud reproductions, and so inadvertently provides support for the supernatural theory that the image on the Shroud of Turin IS a type of photograph, in which Jesus' image was imprinted on His burial Shroud as an effect of His resurrection.


Stephen E. Jones said...


5) The third and last naturalistic theory of the Shroud's image formation in the documentary was that of the late Ray Rogers, the Maillard reaction theory, which Schwortz favours. The theory claims that as Jesus' body decomposed, it gave off ammonia which reacted with sugars on the Shroud, which had coated it as part of the ancient flax-to-linen production process using the Soapwort plant (Saponaria officinalis). Barrie Schwortz tested the theory using a dead pig lying under a linen sheet coated with Soapwort plant extract for the same time (~36 hours) the Gospels record that Jesus was in the tomb covered by his linen Shroud. But when the Shroud was removed from the pig's body there was only a faint brown coloring on the pig's `shroud' and Schwortz admitted that there was no image.

Schwortz then examined the pig's `shroud' Maillard reaction under his microscope and claimed it looked like the Shroud's colouring. But it didn't look like it to me.

Besides, as Schwortz himself admitted, the Bible claims (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27; 13:35) that Jesus' body did not decompose, and STURP's examination confirmed that the Man on the Shroud shows no sign of decomposition, whereas the pig had visibly started decomposing.

So despite: a) the pig's `shroud' having been coated with soapwort, whereas there is no evidence that at the time of Jesus entombment the Shroud still was so coated; and b) the visible degree of decomposition of the pig compared with NO visible decomposition of the Man on the Shroud, the degree of colouring and detail of the Shroud's was far greater than that of the pig.

Besides, if the Shroud's image was caused by a Maillard reaction on a body's linen shroud as the body within it decomposed, then there should be HUNDREDS of Shroudlike body images on the THOUSANDS of linen burial shrouds which have survived from Egyptian burials but there are NONE.

Therefore, I regard Ray Rogers' Maillard reaction naturalistic theory of the Shroud image's formation as having been falsified by Barrie Schwortz' experimental test of it in the documentary.

Stephen E. Jones.

Bippy123 said...

Great posts yet again Stephen, plus another part of the Maillard reaction is that it doesn't explain the xray like quality of the hands, wrists, parts of the femur and the skull.

I wonder why some shroud researchers still hold to it, plus as you correctly stated, if this were so we should have many images like this on burial shrouds, but we have none.

If the evidence leads more reasonable to a super natural cause why won't they allow the evidence to lead them to wherever it goes?

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Great posts yet again Stephen,


>plus another part of the Maillard reaction is that it doesn't explain the xray like quality of the hands, wrists, parts of the femur and the skull.

Good point. And the flower and coin images (which are in my series' pipeline).

>I wonder why some shroud researchers still hold to it,

Some are not Christians, like Barrie Schwortz, and therefore the Shroud being an effect of Jesus' resurrection is not an available explanation.

And some Shroud researchers who are Christians, like the late Ray Rogers, want there to be a "scientific" (which to them means "naturalistic") explanation.

Therefore for both these types of Shroud researchers, a weak naturalistic explanation (e.g. Maiilard reaction) is preferred by them to a strong supernaturalistic explanation (e.g. Jackson's Cloth Collapse theory).

>plus as you correctly stated, if this were so we should have many images like this on burial shrouds, but we have none.

That simple fact is DEVASTATING to the Maillard reaction (and every other naturalistic) explanation.

But the Shroud researcher (non-Christian and Christian) who is a committed Methodological Naturalist, i.e. who holds that scientific explanations must necessarily be naturalistic, will just shrug their shoulders at such contrary evidence and say they will just have to keep searching for a better naturalistic explanation.

>If the evidence leads more reasonable to a super natural cause why won't they allow the evidence to lead them to wherever it goes?

Because their minds have, to varying degrees, been taken captive by the philosophy of Naturalism:

Colossians 2:8: See to it that no one TAKES YOU CAPTIVE BY PHILOSOPHY and empty deceit, according to human tradition, ACCORDING TO THE ELEMENTAL SPIRITS OF THE WORLD, and not according to Christ.

That we Christians are not immune to being taken captive by naturalistic ways of thinking is evident by the fact that St Paul wrote the above to a Christian church.

Stephen E. Jones

The Deuce said...

Steve, major heads up!:

Stephen E. Jones said...

The Deuce

>Steve, major heads up!:

Thanks for this:

Vatican Insider

Tuesday 26 March 2013

New experiments on Shroud show it’s not medieval

Professor Giulio Fanti and journalist Saverio Gaeta have published a book with the results of some chemical and mechanical tests which confirm that the Shroud dates back to the 1st century


New scientific experiments carried out at the University of Padua have apparently confirmed that the Shroud Turin can be dated back to the 1st century AD. This makes its compatible with the tradition which claims that the cloth with the image of the crucified man imprinted on it is the very one Jesus’ body was wrapped in when he was taken off the cross. The news will be published in a book by Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua’s Engineering Faculty, and journalist Saverio Gaeta, out tomorrow. "Il Mistero della Sindone" (The Mystery of the Shroud) is edited by Rizzoli (240 pp, 18 Euro).


I will post it to my blog with my comments.

Stephen E. Jones

Bippy123 said...

Hey Deuce, nice find man. This link is starting to spread like wildfire .
Keep it up

Stephen E. Jones said...


>Hey Deuce, nice find man. This link is starting to spread like wildfire .

Agreed. I am preparing a post with my comments on news items about Fanti's experiments which found that the Shroud can date from the time of Christ, i.e.:

Fourier tranform infrared: 300 BC ±400, i.e. 700 BC-AD 100;

Raman spectroscopy: 200 BC ± 500, i.e. 700 BC-AD 300; and

Multi-parametric mechanical: 400 AD ± 400, i.e. AD 1 - AD 800.

The average of all three dates is 33 BC ± 250 years, i.e. 283 BC-AD 217.

The date of Jesus' crucifixion on AD 30 or 33 is comfortably within esch of those three ranges, and the average of them.

Stephen E. Jones