The man on the Shroud
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones
This is part #12, "The man on the Shroud: Colour," of my series, "The evidence is overwhelming that the Turin Shroud is authentic!" See the Main index for more information about this series.
- The man on the Shroud #8
- Colour #12
Introduction. The colour of the image of the man on the Shroud is a uniform straw-yellow.
Uniform. The body image lies only on the very top of those Shroud fibres it has modified (see future part "superficial"). All the image portions of the fibres show a uniform straw-yellow coloration. The colour is that of dehydrated oxidised cellulose in linen fibres. Microdensitometric measurements of Shroud color photomicrographs found that the yellowing of any given fibril was the same of any other yellowed fibril on the Shroud. That is, body image fibrils over the entire Shroud are basically identical to each other in their straw-yellow color. Each yellowed fibre is yellowed to the same extent as any other image fibre. There was no graduating difference in yellowness of the image fibres. Each image fibre held the same quantity of yellowness.
Areal density image. If every topmost fiber of yellowed threads contained the same shade of yellow, then what caused the difference in the shading of the image? The difference in the shading of
"areal density. The elements that make up the shroud image are all the same color. Like a halftone image all the `dots are the same color, more where its darker and less where its lighter. In the case of the Shroud the fibers are a uniform yellow of oxidized cellulose.".]
yellow from one area of the image to another was dependent on the number of yellowed fibers in each area. If one image area was darker than the other, that area would contain more yellowed fibers. It is similar to the half-tone prints in newspaper photos, where black is made by black ink dots bunched together, and gray is made by black ink dots interspersed with white areas. The darker an area, the more dots in it. This shows that the image seen at the macroscopic level is an areal density image and not a pigment concentration image. Shading is not accomplished by varying the color but by varying the number of colored fibers per unit area at the microlevel. The darker portions of the image were not due to a variation of the degree of the yellowing of the fibrils, but rather to the presence of more yellowed fibrils per unit area. Any differences in intensity between different parts of the body image are due solely to the number of yellow-colored fibrils concentrated in a given area. Although parts of the body image may appear to be darker, it is not due to them having a darker yellow coloring, but rather they have a greater number of uniformly colored fibrils in those locations.
Digital. All the colored fibers are uniformly colored, that is, an exposed fiber is either colored or not colored. Yellowed image fibers lie alongside white non-image fibers. The Shroud image colour information is therefore digital, with only two states: on-off, as in modern computer technology. Not analogue, with continuously varying information, as in a painting. Optical engineer, Kevin Moran examined by microscope Shroud fibres attached to the 27 sticky tapes which Max Frei (1913–83 had pressed into the Shroud in 1978. Moran dubbed the Shroud's image fibres, "pixels, similar to a TV screen. ... darker and lighter shades are not the result of more or less `paint but rather a greater concentration of dehydrated fibers, ie. Pixelization":
"Because of my interest in how the image was formed, I have examined the image-forming pixels or segments of the fibre that have the darker yellowing. I have dubbed the elements 'pixels' to draw attention to the fact that they are optically terminated. They are very sharply defined at their ends. They are not diffused spots that would be seen if they were dyed or chemically reacted, or a thermal burn. They are most certainly not made by pigment contact"Moran further noted that under the microscope, "where the ... image ...
[Above (enlarge): Photomicrograph taken by Kevin Moran of 15 micron (15 thousandth of a millimetre) diameter Shroud fibres attached to one of Max Frei's sticky tapes. As can be seen, the boundaries between the image (yellow) and non-image fibres are sharp, about 1 micron wide. Note that the image fibres are uniformly yellow, even at this microscopic scale. Note also that where a non-image fibre crossed over an image fibre, the non-image fibre became the same uniform yellow image colouring.]
fibre meets the ... nonimage ... fibre looks like a precision line formed on a modern semiconductor":
"Since the linen fibres are some 10 to 30 microns in diameter and appear as smooth fibre optics, the section where the darkened [i.e. image] fibre meets the clear [i.e. nonimage] fibre looks like a precision line formed on a modern semiconductor."As Ian Wilson commented, "This is something completely outside any conceivable technology, medieval or modern". While Wilson may be overstating it that this is outside of modern technology, it certainly is completely outside of 14th century technology, when the Shroud first appeared in undisputed history in 1355, at Lirey, France.
Problem for the forgery theory. (see previous three: #9, #10 & #11) . The uniformity of color of the body image fibers is further evidence against the body image being a painting. To provide variation in colour an artist varies the concentration of an applied pigment, that is, a pigment concentration gradient. But the Shroud's image's uniform straw-yellow colour means it not a pigment concentration gradient but an areal density image. An artist would have to monitor the number of fibers he paints per unit area of his painting while visualizing in his mind's eye the macroscopic image he is trying to create. A single fiber on the Shroud is about half the thickness of an average human hair, putting severe restrictions on the size of the artist's brush and the time required to produce the finished painting. Because the many fibrils that make up a single thread are too fine to be distinguished by an unaided human eye, and because each fibril has been individually encoded with color, to see them a painter would need a microscope, several centuries before that instrument was invented. Nor is the uniform straw-yellow colour of the Shroud image evidence for a dry powder contact transfer process. There is no evidence on the Shroud of the powder particulates required to produce the image. Moreover, the Shroud contains, conservatively, thousands (if not millions) of individual body-image fibrils, and each fibril is encoded with a uniform intensity of color Someone applying powdered pigment onto a cloth with a hand-held dauber and/or rubbing powder on woven linen could never achieve this uniform intensity on all individual image fibrils. In fact, experiments involving powder rubbing have shown that a uniform application of powder cannot be obtained on even one fibril. Let alone with the precision of a "line formed on a modern semiconductor" (see above). It goes without saying that a medieval forger could not by any technology of his time selectively colour individual linen fibres with a precision of 1 micron! Therefore, by this evidence alone, all Shroud medieval forgery theories are rendered false!
Conclusion. So even the colour of the image of the man on the Shroud is part of the overwhelming evidence that the Turin Shroud is authentic! That the `terminator' line where the image part of a fibril meets the non-image part of the same fibril "looks like a precision line formed on a modern semiconductor," is alone proof beyond
[Above: Close-up of a photomicrograph of the ~1 micron wide `terminator' line between the image and non-image part of the same fibril from the Shroud, showing that where a different non-image fibril crossed an image fibril, it was coated with the image!]
reasonable doubt that the Shroud is not a medieval, or earlier, forgery, because before the microscope was invented in the 1600s, no one could even see linen fibrils, let alone colour them. But as leading anti-authenticists Fr. Herbert Thurston (1856–1939) and Steven D. Schafersman (quoted approvingly by Joe Nickell), have stated, either the Shroud is "a product of human artifice" or "the image is that of Jesus":
"As to the identity of the body whose image is seen on the Shroud, no question is possible. The five wounds, the cruel flagellation, the punctures encircling the head, can still be clearly distinguished ... If this is not the impression of the Christ, it was designed as the counterfeit of that impression. In no other person since the world began could these details be verified" (my emphasis)And since no medieval human artificer could have even seen linen fibrils on the Shroud which are ~15 microns (15/1000ths of a millimetre) in diameter, let alone selectively colour thousands of them, the Shroud is not "a product of human artifice." Therefore, "the image is that of Jesus"!
"As the (red ochre) dust settles briefly over Sindondom, it becomes clear there are only two choices: Either the shroud is authentic (naturally or supernaturally produced by the body of Jesus) or it is a product of human artifice. Asks Steven Schafersman: `Is there a possible third hypothesis? No, and here's why. Both Wilson and Stevenson and Habermas go to great lengths to demonstrate that the man imaged on the shroud must be Jesus Christ and not someone else. After all, the man on this shroud was flogged, crucified, wore a crown of thorns, did not have his legs broken, was nailed to the cross, had his side pierced, and so on. Stevenson and Habermas even calculate the odds as 1 in 83 million that the man on the shroud is not Jesus Christ (and they consider this a very conservative estimate). I agree with them on all of this. If the shroud is authentic, the image is that of Jesus.'" (my emphasis)
To be continued in part #13 of this series.
1. This post is copyright. Permission is granted to quote from any part of this post (but not the whole post), provided it includes a reference citing my name, its subject heading, its date, and a hyperlink back to this post. [return]
2. Adler, A.D., 2000a, "Chemical and Physical Aspects of the Sindonic Images," in Adler, A.D. & Crispino, D., ed., 2002, "The Orphaned Manuscript: A Gathering of Publications on the Shroud of Turin," Effatà Editrice: Cantalupa, Italy, pp.11-27, 15; Adler, 2000b, p.116. [return]
3. Lavoie, G.R., 2000, "Resurrected: Tangible Evidence That Jesus Rose from the Dead," , Thomas More: Allen TX, p.58. [return]
4. Adler, A.D., 1999, "The Nature of the Body Images on the Shroud of Turin," in Adler & Crispino, 2002, pp.103-112, 105; Adler, 2000a, p.15; Adler, A.D., 2000b, "The Shroud Fabric and the Body Image: Chemical and Physical Characteristics," in Adler & Crispino, 2002, pp.113, 116; Antonacci, M., 2000, "Resurrection of the Shroud: New Scientific, Medical, and Archeological Evidence," M. Evans & Co: New York NY, p.36; Lavoie, 2000, p.62; Schwalbe, L.A. & Rogers, R.N., 1982, "Physics and Chemistry of the Shroud of Turin: Summary of the 1978 Investigation," Reprinted from Analytica Chimica Acta, Vol. 135, No. 1, 1982, pp.3-49, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co: Amsterdam, p.10; Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.74. [return]
5. Carter, G.F., 1982, "Formation of the Image on the Shroud of Turin by x-Rays: A New Hypothesis," in Lambert, J.B., ed., 1984, "Archaeological Chemistry III: ACS Advances in Chemistry, No. 205," American Chemical Society, Washington D.C., pp.425-446, 428; Adler, 1999, pp.104-105; Adler, 2000a, p.15; Adler, 2000b, p.116; Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
6. Heller, J.H., 1983, "Report on the Shroud of Turin," Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, p.199; Adler, 1999, p.105. [return]
7. Jumper, E.J., Adler, A.D., Jackson, J.P., Pellicori, S.F., Heller, J.H., Druzik, J.R., in Lambert, 1984, "A Comprehensive Examination of the Various Stains and Images on the Shroud of Turin," pp.447-476, 451; Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
8. Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
9. Lavoie, 2000, p.63. [return]
10. Ibid. [return]
11. Ibid. [return]
12. Lavoie, 2000, pp.63-64. [return]
13. Schneider, R., 2015, "The Shroud of Turin an Enduring Mystery – Part 4: Skeptics & Image Formation," Slide 13. [return]
14. Lavoie, 2000, p.64. [return]
15. Lavoie, 2000, p.64. [return]
16. Case, T.W., 1996, "The Shroud of Turin and the C-14 Dating Fiasco," White Horse Press: Cincinnati OH, p.22. [return]
17. Lavoie, 2000, p.64. [return]
18. Adler, 1999, p.105. [return]
19. Ibid; Adler, 2000a, p.15. [return]
20. Jumper, et al., in Lambert, 1984, p.451. [return]
21. Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
22. Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
23. Adler, 1999, p.105. [return]
24. Lavoie, 2000, p.63. [return]
25. "Digital data," Wikipedia, 24 March 2016. [return]
26. "Analog signal," Wikipedia, 5 March 2016. [return]
27. Moran, K.E., 1995, "Observations by Microscopy of the Sticky Tape Samples Taken from the Shroud by Dr. Max Frei in 1978," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 41, September, pp.12-13. [return]
28. "Department of Physics," Shroud of Turin Education Project, 2000. [return]
29. Moran, K., 1995, "Observations by Microscopy of the Sticky Tape Samples Taken from the Shroud by Dr. Max Frei in 1978," British Society for the Turin Shroud Newsletter, No. 41, September, pp.12-13. [return]
30. Moran, K.E., 1999, "Optically Terminated Image Pixels Observed on Frei 1978 Samples," Shroud.com, pp.1-10, 8. [return]
31. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.74; Moran, 1995, p.14. [return]
32. Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.74. [return]
33. Adler, 2000a, p.15. [return]
34. Ibid. [return]
33. Ibid. [return]
34. Ibid. [return]
35. Adler, 2000b, p.113. [return]
36. Adler, 2000a, p.15. [return]
37. Ibid. [return]
38. Antonacci, 2000, p.36. [return]
39. Adler, 2000a, p.15. [return]
40. Ibid. [return]
41. Antonacci, 2000, p.74. [return]
42. Ibid. [return]
43. Ibid. [return]
44. Moran, 1999, p.8. [return]
45. Thurston, H., 1903, "The Holy Shroud and the Verdict of History," The Month, CI, p.19, in Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," , Image Books: New York NY, Revised edition, p.52. [return]
46. Wilson, 1979, pp.51-53. [return]
47. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI, pp.121-129. [return]
48. Stevenson. & Habermas, 1981, p.128. [return]
49. Schafersman, S.D., "Science, the public, and the Shroud of Turin," The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring 1982, pp.37-56, p.42 in Nickell, J., 1987, "Inquest on the Shroud of Turin," , Prometheus Books: Buffalo NY, Revised, Reprinted, 2000, p.141. [return]
Posted: 23 March 2016. Updated: 29 October 2016.