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Old 1st March 2017, 11:45 AM   #161
meccanoman
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
I am aware that not everyone whole-heartedly endorses falsifiability, but I don't know anyone who summarily rejects it. It's a useful concept, IMO.

And evolution is falsifiable. Karl Popper changed his mind on that subject later in life and agreed that evolution was falsifiable and scientific.
Well, I haven't summarily rejected the criterion of falsifiability, even when it's weaponised to dismiss new ideas, as is so often the case.

I'm simply saying it's a counsel of perfection, all too often deployed prematurely before the defining parameters of a new research problem are appreciated, far less understood.

I'll report back by 9pm, UK time, saying what I've been able to produce re the dubious criterion of falsifiability.

Prepare to be unimpressed - or blitzed with finely-argued, possibly tendentious chemistry. Such is the nature of cutting-edge science - where nothing can be taken for granted, least of all "commonsense" preconceptions...

Falsifiabilty depends on predicting NEGATIVE results to one's predictions .

Better, I say, to rely on POSITIVE results - ones that (if nothing else) generate new hypotheses, new experimental data.

Popper's demanding harsh criteria were more metaphysics than than feet-on-the-ground science if you ask me, generating any number of philosophy doctorates and professorships, but not a single antibiotic, aircraft or mobile phone...
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Old 1st March 2017, 02:26 PM   #162
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Falsifying the flour-imprinting hypothesis?

How does one prove that flour was deployed if (a) it was all used up or broken down by heat in the oven-heating step or (b) any surplus of unreacted flour was washed out leaving no trace?

Answer: one cannot, which proves my earlier point that falsification, e.g. by demonstrating an absence of flour residues, is too severe a test.

So on has to look to rival theories, and make predictions based on those, and see if they can be used for the purposes of falsification,

There are two major alternatives. Dealing with just the first for now: the colour of the image fibres is due to micro-particles of iron (III) oxide, aka red ochre, at least initially (as per McCrone, Garlaschelli etc).

If that were true, it should possible to dissolve the iron(III) oxide in strong mineral acid, converting to a yellow or orange soluble iron(III)salt, then adding reducing agents such as sulphur dioxide, thiosulphate, tin(II) chloride or metallic zinc to convert to green iron(II) salts, and then electrolyse, depositing metallic iron on the negative (-)electrode.

Falsifying prediction: if adding strong acid to shroud image fibres results in leaching off the yellow/brown colour, followed by conversion to a pale green solution with reducing agents, followed by a deposit of metallic iron on the negative electrode with electrolysis , then the image colour is NOT due to melanoidins or other Maillard reaction products, but due to inorganic iron compounds instead.

A falsification test, based on a different theory of image colour, namely that it is due to chemically dehydrated cellulose ("conjugated carbonyls") is presently in preparation.

Note: falsification tests cannot realistically be done in an information vacuum. One always has to look to rival models, subjecting them to the same or different falsification test as those applied to one's own. Falsification testing should never be on the one boot...
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Old 1st March 2017, 02:33 PM   #163
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To be frank, I haven't been able to think of a way to falsify it, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. I have a day job that has demanded most of my attention this week.
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Old 1st March 2017, 11:26 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
I find the sprinkling flour idea quite compelling. The problem of collimated radiation (or collimated vapour exudation) from 'body' to 'cloth' has bothered all sorts of people, and reduced most of them to the "it must have been a miracle" explanation, but the sprinkling of flour, delightfully reversing the vertical essential, elegantly accounts for it.

Meanwhile, I have been looking for a body, particularly a flattish one that might mean the artist didn't have to have a separate head, and am currently exploring the wooden effigies that used to be used for the "quem quaeritis" rite. Have a look at the Easter Sepulchre at Wienhausen Abbey (http://www.medievalhistories.com/the...-risen-christ/). It's not quite a smoking gun, but I think something like it could have been used to produce the kind of imprint meccanoman has in mind.
Why, thank you Hugh. It's gratifying at last to see someone who's willing to look at the merits of a new model, instead of using the thread to defend existing ones (which have had years in which to rectify perceived defects and generally failed to do so).

Yes, I know you are not enamoured of any model that requires imprinting off a real person or part thereof, for reasons that are not clear.

Once you substitute rigid incompressible wood or alabaster for human flesh, you are missing out on an opportunity to account for one of the 'enigmatic' features of the Shroud body image, namely the so-called X-ray effect.

Yup, the skeletal look of those bony fingers, the "teeth", the skull etc that so impressed August Accetta, prompting him to go swallowing X-ray-emitting contrast media (from memory), may have a more mundane explanation. When there's immediately underlying bone, one gets a better imprint than when there's not, due no doubt to more efficient transfer of flour from subject to linen when there's 'something hard underneath'. In fact, there's an artificial "bone effect" visible on my imprint off the half-human scale subject if one looks closely. Note the longitudinal band of higher density. It corresponds with a seam in the linen (I had used the entire leg of lady's summer trousers, bought from a charity shop). The extra thickness due to the multi-layer seam was sufficient to act like a bone.

The second part of the falsification challenge is proving quite tricky (see my previous comment) so I may be away from this thread for some hours.

Late edit: ignore teeth and skull in the above, being irrelevant in the context of a rigid bas relief for the 'difficult' head. It's the fingers only that are relevant when a real human subject supplies torso, limbs and appendages.

Reminder to self: take another look at the so-called "banding", an area of mutual interest, e.g. Hugh's thesis on Dan Porter's lapsed shroudstory site - see link in right hand margin. An effect due to height differences, i.e. ridges in the weave?
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Old 2nd March 2017, 12:34 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
Falsifiabilty depends on predicting NEGATIVE results to one's predictions .

Better, I say, to rely on POSITIVE results - ones that (if nothing else) generate new hypotheses, new experimental data.

Popper's demanding harsh criteria were more metaphysics than than feet-on-the-ground science if you ask me, generating any number of philosophy doctorates and professorships, but not a single antibiotic, aircraft or mobile phone...
I would not say this way. According Popper, falsifiability is a condition for a statement to be considered scientific. A statement is scientific only if you can consider under what circumstances it would be false. This is not a norm, but a description of what really the scientists do when they dessign an experiment. Only if a possibility of refutation of the main sentence is possible the experiment has sense. A sentence that is true in any circumstances is tautological or metaphysic, not scientific.

For example: if your tehory about flour would be false when any remainder of flour could not be found the theory would be scientific.

I found Popper's theory reasonable with some partial precisions -in reality is not very different of verificationism-. I think that the absence of flour residues can be a refutation of your theory. Is it not?
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Old 2nd March 2017, 01:06 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I would not say this way. According Popper, falsifiability is a condition for a statement to be considered scientific. A statement is scientific only if you can consider under what circumstances it would be false. This is not a norm, but a description of what really the scientists do when they dessign an experiment. Only if a possibility of refutation of the main sentence is possible the experiment has sense. A sentence that is true in any circumstances is tautological or metaphysic, not scientific.

For example: if your tehory about flour would be false when any remainder of flour could not be found the theory would be scientific.

I found Popper's theory reasonable with some partial precisions -in reality is not very different of verificationism-. I think that the absence of flour residues can be a refutation of your theory. Is it not?
I can't speak for all scientists, working or retired, but this one at any rate refuses to have his style cramped by being forced permanently to wear a 'falsify-first' straitjacket imposed by metaphysicists. Yes, I'll don it for a few hours, or even a day or two, since I'm here on a public forum, and we'll see what if anything emerges from responding to John Jones's specific request.

Any views on yesterday's partial response to the challenge? The key advantage of the final electrolysis step is that it should scavenge any and all "iron" as the metallic element derived from a body image that depended on insoluble Fe+++ for its colour via solubilization, partial chemical reduction, finally depositing it quantitatively onto a shiny platinum electrode (where any loss of shininess would immediately signal deposition of a different metal).

Yup, I'm a nuts and bolts man who prefers dealing with tangibles (thus the choice of username - Meccano constructions being a childhood hobby). I read recently that Meccano is a corruption of "Make and Know" spoken in a north of England accent. I prefer a positive hands-on Meccano approach to chemistry than Karl Popper's over-cerebral essentially negative one!

PS "I think that the absence of flour residues can be a refutation of your theory. Is it not?"

It depends what you mean by "residues". As yet we still don't know the chemical nature of the faint body image. Some, most recently Di Lazzaro, say it's modified cellulose, some like Rogers said it was a modified starch coating, I say it's a modified flour coating, the key words in all cases being "modified" such that the image is NOT native cellulose, nor native starch, nor native flour etc. Already we see the impracticality of applying the Popperian criterion of falsifiability when faced with the vagaries of language and the ABSENCE OF FACTS!

Take away message: beware premature Popperization!
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Old 2nd March 2017, 05:27 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
I can't speak for all scientists, working or retired, but this one at any rate refuses to have his style cramped by being forced permanently to wear a 'falsify-first' straitjacket imposed by metaphysicists.(...)
PS "I think that the absence of flour residues can be a refutation of your theory. Is it not?"

It depends what you mean by "residues". As yet we still don't know the chemical nature of the faint body image. Some, most recently Di Lazzaro, say it's modified cellulose, some like Rogers said it was a modified starch coating, I say it's a modified flour coating, the key words in all cases being "modified" such that the image is NOT native cellulose, nor native starch, nor native flour etc. Already we see the impracticality of applying the Popperian criterion of falsifiability when faced with the vagaries of language and the ABSENCE OF FACTS!

Take away message: beware premature Popperization!
The bourgeois gentilhomme was amazed to know that he was able to speak in prose. You know.

I will try to explain better Popper’s falsificationism.

When you design an experiment you suppose that some facts and laws together (conditional statements) would produce an outcome: X. Let us say, “blue”. If the outcome is "red" your experiment gives the answer “false”. If the experiment is well designed and all the conditions are well tested –they are certain- there is only a condition “x” that is hypothetical. Then “red” implies that this hypothesis is false. Of course –and this is the main problem with the strict falsificationism-, this is an ideal situation. But for the understanding of what is the falsificationism we can to put provisionally aside this difficulty.

If the experimenter would not imagine an adverse outcome it would be perfectly useless to implement it. Why to implement the experiment if it would be “true” in any circumstance? You experiment something because you think that the answer could be “no”!

My proposal of falsification -flour residues- was only a supposition. Would you consider the absence of flour residues a negative outcome to your hypothesis? If not, what else?
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Old 2nd March 2017, 05:45 AM   #168
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Apologies for leaving the metaphysics of falsification to the metaphysicists (or should that be metaphysicians - delivering their prescriptive remedies for all the ills of science to us hoi polloi?).

So let's proceed straightaway to the practicalities.

Here briefly is a draft protocol for another approach to 'falsification". The claim being made is that the yellow/brown image colour is NOT chemically-modified cellulose, or indeed a modification of any of the native components of flax and linen, but a modification of an ADDED SUBSTANCE, probably but not necessarily wheat flour.

The strategy is to obtain a difference spectrum (probably via mass spectrometry) that allows one to deduce whether or not the formation of the image chromophores has been at the expense of the linen's own chemical constituents or not. Any information that might be gained fortuitously on the chemical nature of an exogenous component should be seen as a bonus, since that is emphatically not the prime purpose of the exercise.

Can the cellulose etc of the linen be implicated or not? If not then the image chromophore MUST be due to something exogenous, i.e. added.
Conversely, if most or all of the image chromophore can be accounted for as products of linen modification, then the flour-imprinting hypothesis, or indeed any hypothesis that assumes coating with an exogenous substance, whether flour Rogers' starch and/or saponins is FALSIFIED!

Are the tests I'm about to propose destructive or not? Answer? Yes, unfortunately (though as will be seen, 'minimally destructive' might be a better description). Does that rule this falsification exercise out of contention, on the basis that the Shroud custodians would never give their consent? Maybe, maybe not. It depends whether the impugning of the competence (or worse still, scientific integrity) of the three radiocarbon labs from 1988 is considered a matter of concern or not. (I say it is, being indeed a matter of ACUTE concern).

What if the tests proposed were minimally destructive to start with, and only became more destructive if - at each stage - a medieval date were confirmed? What if a hand lens or exceedingly sharp eye were needed finally to detect the entire round of 'destructive testing'? Might that make what follows a realistic set of proposals?

See my next comment (later today) for how charges of wanton vandalism might be, if not avoided, at least seen as excessively-defensive of an unproven but much-trumpeted assertion, namely that the linen has a 1st century provenance, as distinct from being a medieval work of sheer genius.

2nd of 3 instalments to follow next.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 07:31 AM   #169
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2nd instalment


Repeat the radiocarbon dating at 5 or so randomly chosen NON-IMAGE locations on the (less photogenic) DORSAL side of the Shroud. The samples would not be Shroud-disfiguring squares or rectangles, but threads pulled from the weave. (It might be necessary to add a volatile solvent to serve as temporary lubricant - which would need to be totally free of any carbon-containing compounds needless to say).

If a 1st century dating is obtained, then game, set and match to the pro-authenticity enthusiasts.

What's more probable is a confirmation of medieval date, centred upon the mid-1300s (when the Shroud made its first recorded appearance as the two-fold head-to-head body image on the Lirey Pilgrims' badge).

That being the case, the Shroud has to be seen as enigmatic in terms of the method of manufacture only, understanding of which is a valid scientific exercise in its own right, given the claims for it being the world's first photograph, of having unique encoded 3D properties, a superficiality of body image impossible to achieve by forgery etc etc. (all of which can be accounted for in the flour-imprinting model, but that's by the way, given the existence of rival models and the desirability of assessing their relative merits and demerits).

Next step: the removal of additional threads (sorry Turin), again from the dorsal-side of the linen, taken from (a) non-image areas as before and (b) body image areas - probably blood-free for starters.

Third and final instalment to follow.
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Old 2nd March 2017, 07:48 AM   #170
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Third instalment

The two kinds of threads would be subjected to identical analytical procedures, with the two sets of results superimposed to spot differences.

Analytical procedure?

1. Acid-catalysed hydrolysis to break down the glycosidic linkages in the carbohydrate polymers to simple sugars etc, with separate determination of lignin if considered necessary and other non-carbohydrates.

The initial focus would be on the image-free zones. How does the chemical analysis resemble or differ from that of modern linen.

Two kinds of chromatography would be carried out. The first would be 'simple' chromatographic determination for simple sugars (glucose - mainly but not exclusively from cellulose; pentose sugars such as xylose, arabinose etc from hemicelluloses, uronic acid sugars from pectin etc). The means for doing that were developed for dietary fibre determination in food, notably by Hans Englyst and John Cummings in the 1980s. Sugars are measured as alditol acetates by GLC. That analysis alone would give a maximum figure for cellulose - the major component, which could be adjusted for other glucose-containing constituents based on the pentose sugars.

2. The other kind of chromatography would be pyrolysis mass spectrometry which uses heat to extensively degrade the sample to molecular fragments, identified from tables by their m/e ratios. That allows for tentative determination of trace constituents, non-carbohydrate ones especially, which is needed as a control for what follows.

When the same procedure are applied to the image-bearing fibres, one expects to see (a) the same or less carbohydrate for similar sample weights of image v non image threads and (b) the appearance of new peaks in the pyrolysis mass spectra which may or may not allow for identification. Either way, one should be able to answer the key question: was the new material from the image chromophore derived by chemical modification of cellulose and/or other constituents of cellulose or not?

3. There's an additional analytical step I'd suggest designed to improve the reliability and repeatability of the data. Given we don't know a great deal about the chemical stability of samples taken for analysis, especially after acid hydrolysis, or the likelihood of being able to identify each of the many peaks one expects to see in the pyrolysis mass spectrographs, then run an addition set of analyses in which the samples are maximally fluorinated first, e.g. by treating with cobalt trifluoride, or electrolysing in anhydrous hydrogen fluoride. Fluorination generates highly stable end-products, usually with substitution of the small monoisotopic fluorine atom (mass = 19, almost exactly) for hydrogen which apart from added stability on storage (allowing other labs to perform independent analyses) has an added advantage where mass spectrometry is concerned: tentative identifications from non-fluorinated samples can be checked by seeking the same fragments with an added m/e of 18 (-1 (H) + 19 (F)) or small whole number multiples thereof for di-, tri- fluorinated fragments.

That's it for now, John Jones: two entirely independent methods for "falsifying" the flour-imprinting model, but probably not as direct as you (or I) might have wished. Don't say you weren't warned. Falsification as urged upon us drudges at the cutting edge is usually a counsel of perfection, and rarely if ever as easy and straightforward as generally assumed when operating in an information vacuum.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 12:08 AM   #171
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I've just this minute entered 'karl popper' into Google, to find these three quotations of his highlighted in the big box top right:

1. No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.

2. Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification.

3. Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.


I think I know the mindset - controlling, envious and resentful of things it does not understand.

Science will not - and cannot - be constrained by his highbrow 'rationalist' prescriptions and ground-rules. His brand of philosophy hates science - because it doesn't understand how imagination/creativity are able to work synergistically with experimental testing to produce answers (not necessarily, indeed rarely the ultimate truth - just provisional answers to be getting along with) liberating it from the straitjacket of sterile unproductive rationality.
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Old 3rd March 2017, 12:46 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
I've just this minute entered 'karl popper' into Google, to find these three quotations of his highlighted in the big box top right:

1. No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.

2. Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification.

3. Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.


I think I know the mindset - controlling, envious and resentful of things it does not understand.

Science will not - and cannot - be constrained by his highbrow 'rationalist' prescriptions and ground-rules. His brand of philosophy hates science - because it doesn't understand how imagination/creativity are able to work synergistically with experimental testing to produce answers (not necessarily, indeed rarely the ultimate truth - just provisional answers to be getting along with) liberating it from the straitjacket of sterile unproductive rationality.
Oops! I see you have fallen in the awful well of the "metaphysic" of science. But I don't see any hate to science in Popper's falsificationism. And I don't see what these sentences have to do with falsificationism. What I see is that you don't understand well Popper's point of view.

I could also criticise some Popper's mistakes -in my opinion-. But they don't imply he was against the science in any sense. See here for more and better information: http://www.iep.utm.edu/pop-sci/ . To the contrary, Popper's falsificationism was an attempt to remove the pseudosciences.

In any case, I have asked you if the absence of flour residues in the Shroud would be a refutation of your theory. This was not a "metaphysical" question, I hope.

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Old 3rd March 2017, 01:37 AM   #173
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Anyone who attempts to brand others' ideas and projects as "unscientific", based on a test of falsifiability alone, is not just ignorant of how science works, but anti-science through attempting to define and imprison it within his "falsifiability' straitjacket.

Earlier I had stated (mistakenly) that evolution of the species, while a major scientific idea, was hardly capable of being falsified. That was on account of time scales, mainly, and the fact that we don't see speciation currently. In fact there IS I have since discovered a falsification, though it's one that cleverly draws on an entirely different science - geology.

One has only to find a single fossilized mammal in Pre-Cambrian rocks to falsify evolutionary theory.

Smart, eh, drawing one someone else's science to meet Popper's criterion, and then be able to sleep soundly at night, knowing one's ideas are no longer 'unscientific'.

Now step back from that a bit. On the Monday, one's ideas re evolution are labelled unscientific because one has not falsified them, and indeed may consider them unfalsifiable in principle (yet still be valuable in generating new hypotheses and search for suspected lineage lines etc).

On the Tuesday a student, say, pops up with "please sir, please sir" and proceeds to provide the missing falsification test, and all of a sudden one's a bona fide scientist. Yet the crucial falsification test provides not a single iota of understanding to the mechanism of evolution. Such is the nonsense of allowing a philosopher to come along, telling you what is or is not scientific, based on his oh-so-frightfully ivory-tower yardstick. I say Popper was anti-science, whether he intended to be or not, because he belittled its unique modus operandi of serial cycles of hypothesis/testing. He tried to make it out as a poor relation to his precious logic and metaphysics.

Returning to practicalities: you still have to say what you mean exactly by flour "residues" as I said earlier. Do you mean unchanged flour that has somehow survived oven-roasting and a subsequent vigorous wash with soap and water? If so, that is not a realistic expectation, and should not be demanded by way of falsification.

Do you mean thermal end products derived from use of flour as imprinting medium which I suspect to be melanoidins derived from Maillard reactions? Yes, that would be a more realistic demand, and one that is certainly achievable in principle (while recognizing there's no quick test for melanoidins). In practice as well? Hardly, given the understandable reluctance on the part of the Shroud custodians to allow one to go snipping bits out of the linen. (I and others have suggested threads an an alternative).

In fact, there are ways of testing the truth or otherwise of hypotheses that do NOT need resort to Popper's harsh and unhelpful insistence on proving the idea wrong. It's about proving it RIGHT, or at any rate providing powerful evidence to back it up.

I have recently suggested here and elsewhere that the reddish-brown flecks ones sees on the Shroud linen in magnified photographs with added contrast are wheat gluten. If that could be confirmed experimentally (requiring simple amino-acid analysis) then the flour-imprinting model could no longer be ignored and sidelined, as it is currently some 18 months after being first flagged up. What other explanation could there be for the presence of a constituent of wheat flour, other than use of the latter as an imprinting medium?

Five years ago, it seemed like a good idea to report an investigation in real time via the internet, warts an'all, selecting and rejecting one model after another. I have to say the exercise now seems a complete flop. It's not just Karl Popper who is/was (arguably) anti-science. The modern world, mass media especially, is also essentially antiscience. It much prefers ideas that make for arresting headlines, like the one below that appeared in December 2011, even if minimally supported by experimental data.

SCIENTISTS (sic) SAY TURIN SHROUD IS SUPERNATURAL

Italian government scientists have claimed to have discovered evidence that a supernatural event formed the image on the Turin Shroud, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.

However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.

etc etc.

RIP science.

PS (afterthought/correction): serial hypothesizing/experimenting is not of course unique to science. Motor mechanics do it too ("let's see first if it's the fuel pump that's failed...").
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Old 3rd March 2017, 08:05 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
Yet the crucial falsification test provides not a single iota of understanding to the mechanism of evolution.
Popper would agree with you. If Popper was right falsificationism could only explain why the evolution theory is science and the intelligent design theory is not. It is not a way to “understand better” a scientific theory but to explain how true science works and what is false science.
It seems you have some kind of philosophobia.

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Old 3rd March 2017, 08:46 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Popper would agree with you. If Popper was right falsificationism could only explain why the evolution theory is science and the intelligent design theory is not. It is not a way to “understand better” a scientific theory but to explain how true science works and what is false science.
It seems you have some kind of philosophobia.
Not so. I have respect for the kind of philosophy that addresses the limits of human knowledge and understanding (especially as I believe that theoretical mathematical physicists have already crossed that line, even with something as commonplace as quantum mechanics with its "virtual" particles that can be in two different places at the same time).

I would admit to a degree of Popperophobia. What business has/had
he in branding researchers as "unscientific" unless or until they devise his compulsory falsifiability tests, when the essence of the scientific method is hypothesizing and testing?

In the early days of a new research project, when there's a dearth of information, it is totally absurd to go insisting on falsification - which tries to relegate the powerful METHOD we call science to a branch of philosophy.

Science has the ability (potentially) to generate new insights that are not accessible by other means that rely purely on dry logic, when informed only by what's already known.

Science blazes new trails. Its goal is not as it happens to arrive at "truth", a term Popper carelessly let slip. It's to progressively improve on understanding, while accepting that the best theories are always at risk of being overturned by new discoveries - including those made by new blood investigators, ones who would no doubt have been immediately branded as unscientific by Popper for failing to adopt his mental straitjacket as well as white laboratory coat.

It's high time we dePopperized science. It demeans and devalues the essential creativity and self-discipline of the scientific method.
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Old 4th March 2017, 01:07 AM   #176
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Still on the subject of that oh-so dreadfully downmarket plain white flour, I've recently placed this lighthearted comment on another thread (Science, Supernatural Phenomena etc):

The easiest way to fake a ghost would be to dust someone, clothed or unclothed, from head to foot in white flour.

Might that have been how they faked that ghostly Man on the Shroud too, followed by imprinting of a fuzzy negative image onto linen etc etc?

Oops. Wrong thread...
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Old 4th March 2017, 01:13 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
I would admit to a degree of Popperophobia. What business has/had
he in branding researchers as "unscientific" unless or until they devise his compulsory falsifiability tests, when the essence of the scientific method is hypothesizing and testing?
According to Popper there is not any specific "falsificationist test". There is only scientific tests consisting on questioning the nature with experiences that can result positive or negative. When the scientist design a test he is risking a negative answer that could turn down his hypothesis. If the test outcomes could be only positive, this is not a scientific test.
Note that this exclude the deductive inferences, that are valid in natural science if the premises are emprically tested.

And this is my last attempt to clarify Popper's position. I feel that I am repeting myself.

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Old 4th March 2017, 01:30 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
According to Popper there is not any specific "falsificationist test". There is only scientific tests consisting on questioning the nature with experiences that can result positive or negative. When the scientist design a test he is risking a negative answer that could turn down his hypothesis. If the test outcomes could be only positive, this is not a scientific test.
Note that this exclude the deductive inferences, that are valid in natural science if the premises are emprically tested.

And this is my last attempt to clarify Popper's position. I feel that I am repeting myself.
OK, here's my last word too. A hypothesis or even theory for which no falsification test has yet been conceived CANNOT be branded as "unscientific" on that basis alone. That is slanderous of the scientific method.

For as long as the hypothesis or theory in question continues to have predictive utility, potentially leading to more refined hypotheses and theories, then IT IS SCIENTIFIC with or without a falsification test.

Popper was the unacceptable face of philosophy, attempting to diminish science's distinctive 'trial-and-error' MO, where negative results can be the springboard for new revised ideas, new experiments, new discoveries.

But I thank John Jones for issuing the challenge, if only to demonstrate the difficulty in the real world of conjuring up falsification tests out of thin air, simply to demonstrate that one's being properly 'scientific' in one's approach.
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Old 4th March 2017, 08:17 AM   #179
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I thought of a potential falsification. If a Maillard reaction took place on the shroud, it may be possible to detect the presence of unavailable lysine - one product of the Maillard reaction. If it is absent, that would tend to invalidate Meccanoman's Model 10 hypothesis.

If unavailable lysine is found, that would would be an indication that a proteinaceous substance had reacted with the carbohydrates in the linen - the Maillard reaction.

One could compare parts of the cloth having an image on it with pieces having no such image.

Two problems:
1)It would take a lot of cloth. The Vatican is not likely to surrender large sections of the shroud.
2)Methods used for determining unavailable lysine may not be sensitive enough to detect it in this case.

Proper controls and blinded studies would be required, of course.
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Old 4th March 2017, 10:54 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
I thought of a potential falsification. If a Maillard reaction took place on the shroud, it may be possible to detect the presence of unavailable lysine - one product of the Maillard reaction. If it is absent, that would tend to invalidate Meccanoman's Model 10 hypothesis.

If unavailable lysine is found, that would would be an indication that a proteinaceous substance had reacted with the carbohydrates in the linen - the Maillard reaction.

One could compare parts of the cloth having an image on it with pieces having no such image.

Two problems:
1)It would take a lot of cloth. The Vatican is not likely to surrender large sections of the shroud.
2)Methods used for determining unavailable lysine may not be sensitive enough to detect it in this case.

Proper controls and blinded studies would be required, of course.
As indicated, John Jones, I personally set greater store by what's present, or might be present, rather than absent, especially if not previously detected. I now have substance X in mind (hint: -(CH2)n - predicted by my Model 10, with tiny hints that X may be there from some recent papers reviewing Rogers' mass spectometry, notably the critique by Bella and counter-critique from Latendresse.

It's a horrendously complex subject, and may take a few days to get my head round.

Thanks again for your interest.
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Old 4th March 2017, 01:03 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
As indicated, John Jones, I personally set greater store by what's present, or might be present, rather than absent, especially if not previously detected. [...]
The presence of unavailable lysine (by the Carpenter lysine method, for example) could provide supporting evidence exactly as you desire.
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Old 4th March 2017, 01:32 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
The presence of unavailable lysine (by the Carpenter lysine method, for example) could provide supporting evidence exactly as you desire.
It depends on what you mean precisely by unavailable lysine. Do you mean lysine that's been stripped of the epsilon-amino group on its side chain only, or the entire side chain or the entire amino-acid. Does one have to go looking for the various deaminated fragments that remain (analytically tricky)?

Looks complicated to me, too complicated maybe. Forgive me if I focus on finding new intact chemical species, rather than various 'bits and pieces' that remain, which is not to question the likely involvement of lysine in the Maillard reactions that probably, not definitely, figure in the browning reaction.

The basic problem is that you're putting the cart before the horse - looking for evidence of a Maillard reaction involving a constituent of added protein (flour, Model 10) before having any real evidence that flour (and/or adjunct vegetable oil) was used. Wouldn't it make more sense to go looking for more quantitatively significant markers of flour (and/or oil) that survive the proposed baking/washing procedure, than try to detect the minute left-overs from Maillard reactions?
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Old 4th March 2017, 03:47 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
It depends on what you mean precisely by unavailable lysine. Do you mean lysine that's been stripped of the epsilon-amino group on its side chain only, or the entire side chain or the entire amino-acid.
Yes. I'm referring to the epsilon-amino group on lysine.


Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
Does one have to go looking for the various deaminated fragments that remain (analytically tricky)?

Looks complicated to me, too complicated maybe. Forgive me if I focus on finding new intact chemical species, rather than various 'bits and pieces' that remain, which is not to question the likely involvement of lysine in the Maillard reactions that probably, not definitely, figure in the browning reaction.

The basic problem is that you're putting the cart before the horse - looking for evidence of a Maillard reaction involving a constituent of added protein (flour, Model 10) before having any real evidence that flour (and/or adjunct vegetable oil) was used. Wouldn't it make more sense to go looking for more quantitatively significant markers of flour (and/or oil) that survive the proposed baking/washing procedure, than try to detect the minute left-overs from Maillard reactions?
I'm not putting any cart before any horse. You originally proposed a Maillard reaction. I proposed a possible falsification of your Model 10 hypothesis. Take it or leave it.

Your hypothesis is elegant and interesting, but it's going to have to stand up to rigorous scrutiny. I'm thinking of ways I could test it myself.

Defensiveness will get you nowhere.

Cheers.
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Old 4th March 2017, 04:25 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
As indicated, John Jones, I personally set greater store by what's present, or might be present, rather than absent, especially if not previously detected. I now have substance X in mind (hint: -(CH2)n - predicted by my Model 10, with tiny hints that X may be there from some recent papers reviewing Rogers' mass spectometry, notably the critique by Bella and counter-critique from Latendresse.

It's a horrendously complex subject, and may take a few days to get my head round.

Thanks again for your interest.
You are claiming that the origin of the shroud is tantamount to baking a cake. You think this is in any way reasonable, relevant or even interesting?
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Old 4th March 2017, 11:48 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
You are claiming that the origin of the shroud is tantamount to baking a cake. You think this is in any way reasonable, relevant or even interesting?
Reasonable? Most certainly!
Relevant? Most certainly!
Interesting? That depends on whether or not the recipient of the idea has a grasp for detail, like appreciating the shortcomings of your somewhat crude "cake" analogy.

You see, it's not just 1 cake but thousands of potential microcakes, i.e. oil-accompanied flour particles that are pressed onto the wet linen to create the Stage 1 imprint.

In the oven, there's a micro-frying of each of those flour particles, with an exudation of a yellow or brown LIQUID cocktail of Maillard reaction products. The latter get into the microscopic air-filled channels between the linen fibres and then rapidly shoot along a short distance by capillary action (for which I did a modelling with blue ink for YouTube - look for "dynamic penetration of ink" in your search engine). It's the polymerisation to high molecular weight melanoidins on that short journey, with an abrupt end to that journey when the supply of cocktail from the melt runs out that might account for the otherwise unexplained "half-tone effect" and "discontinuities" of the Shroud body image (just one of a number of features that pro-authenticity advocates claim could never be replicated by human hands, then proceeding to invoke a supernatural via miraculous flashes of radiation etc etc).

Subtlety, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. There can be all kinds of complexity at the atomic and molecular level that occur spontaneously whether energy is supplied or not that can generate what folk call "enigmas" seen through the unaided human eye at the macro level.

Maybe there's a lot more to wheat flour than you imagined. It did after all evolve as total nutrition to sustain the early growth of a new independent plant from germinating wheat grain. Don't be too quick to knock plain white flour. It's a chemical and biochemical cornucopia, good enough I might add to have been regarded as an acceptable alternative to livestock as burnt offering on the altar to God in the Old Testament (see Leviticus Chapter 6).

In fact that single chapter alone mentions (a) fine flour (b) olive oil (c) fire and (d) white linen... Hmmm. Might that be where the technologically-inclined canons of Lirey got their initial inspiration for white-flour imprinting, correction, micro-cake baking?
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Old 5th March 2017, 03:01 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
You are claiming that the origin of the shroud is tantamount to baking a cake. You think this is in any way reasonable, relevant or even interesting?
How the image on the Shroud was achieved, why it was carried out in that particular way, what the finished object was used for, and where it was done are the most interesting questions pertaining to it, so I give meccanoman's work 10/10 for interest and 10/10 for relevant. If I only give him 7/10 for reasonable, that is only because I also follow various other possibilities which might give a similar result from an easier procedure.
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Old 5th March 2017, 03:12 AM   #187
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How and why the image was produced is certainly intriguing, but I would venture to suggest that most peoples' interest in the object is due to the possibility of its being genuine. Having established that it isn't, the motivation to spend more than an idle hour speculating and experimenting to discover more is a bit of a puzzle to me. It's not like there's any real possibility of establishing either the how or the why with any certainty, unless someone invents a time machine. Though I suppose there are worse hobbies.
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Old 5th March 2017, 03:35 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by hugh farey View Post
How the image on the Shroud was achieved, why it was carried out in that particular way, what the finished object was used for, and where it was done are the most interesting questions pertaining to it, so I give meccanoman's work 10/10 for interest and 10/10 for relevant. If I only give him 7/10 for reasonable, that is only because I also follow various other possibilities which might give a similar result from an easier procedure.
I can't and won't complain at your scoring, Hugh, it being most generous. But how do those other models rate in the box-ticking stakes? Do they:

(a) produce an image, as distinct, say, from Di Lazzaro's brown discolration of linen, with no attempt to produce an image? Mine does.

2. Is the image superficial - or at any rate, as superficial or less so as one wishes. Mine does - or can be.

3. Is the image on one side of the linen only (as would not be the case with a soluble wet imprinting medium,e.g. a soluble dye, maybe even a fine particulate medium?). Mine is, or can be, depending on various technical factors that can be discussed if deemed desirable or necessary.

4. Is the image a tone-reversed, photograph-resembling negative, while not a genuine photograph (Stephen Jones please note) ? Mine is.

5. Does the image respond to 3D-rendering software, notably ImageJ? Mine does. Indeed, any imprint behaves in that manner, not requiring "encoded 3D properties" as I began to realize, as early as Model 2 (use of hot metal templates). (Sindonology has not caught up on that fact of life yet).

6. Can the peculiar microscopic properties at the individual fibre level (half-tone effect. discontinuities etc) be explained? Yes, they can in my model.

I wish my model looked more refined and sophisticated, e.g. requiring a precocious Leonardo Da Vinci born at least 120 years before the history books state, dabbling in proto-photography at age 20, say. But it doesn't, and its major flaw right now seems to be that it may have used, shock horror, nothing more sophisticated than plain white flour and oil, as existed in the larders of medieval kitchens. I must apologize profusely but not quite unreservedly for lowering the tone of the ongoing Shroud controversy by resorting to the humble ground- up wheat grain for inspiration.

Time now to get my head round those mass spec' fragments, starting with m/e 131, allegedly hydroxyproline (?) and then seeking out those multiples of 14 in sequences that were mentioned yesterday. Hugh will know what I'm talking about. Hugh always knows what I'm talking about. Shame there aren't more Hughs in sindonology!
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Old 5th March 2017, 03:45 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
How and why the image was produced is certainly intriguing, but I would venture to suggest that most peoples' interest in the object is due to the possibility of its being genuine. Having established that it isn't, the motivation to spend more than an idle hour speculating and experimenting to discover more is a bit of a puzzle to me. It's not like there's any real possibility of establishing either the how or the why with any certainty, unless someone invents a time machine. Though I suppose there are worse hobbies.
Fair point, pixel. But when did you last read a newspaper article, headlining the latest mind-blowing model from authenticity-promoting sindonology - generally involving a sudden flash of radiation from an otherwise dead body - that didn't start by stating that the Shroud has defied all attempts by modern science to explain the 'enigmatic' photograph-like image?

Is the agenda simply to promote the Christian narrative, which in terms of ethics has much to commend it, and is indeed the foundation of Western civilization, at least historically? Or is it an opportunity to take a swipe at science (the sceptical, perceived-as-godless variety that is) at the same time?

I'd say it looks, by and large, like a 50/50 mix of those two, though I'm always ready to be persuaded otherwise.
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Old 5th March 2017, 11:36 PM   #190
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PS: Here's a comment I've just spotted elsewhere, on a site called learning-mind.com,

which has a feature entitled: 5 greatest unsolved enigmas of humanity

Annette June 26, 2015

Why does everyone get so rabid about the Shroud? This article was a list of enigmas…mysterious things….and I would say the Shroud fits. There are certainly a lot of unanswered questions about it, even if it was made 1200 years AD. Someone perpetuated a damn good hoax that still gets people arguing. I’d like to know who did it, how, why, etc. Wouldn’t you?

Hear hear Annette!
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Old 6th March 2017, 12:43 AM   #191
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Good morning playmates

I have just discovered an amazing photoediting filter on Windows 10. It's called "Zeke". What's special about it?
I'll tell you what. It hugely accentuates any particulate matter on one's image.
Here's just one example of what it can do, comparing a before v after Zeke on a Shroud Scope Durante 2002 image of the face.


The before image (top) has already had some added contrast to reveal particulate matter, but isn't a patch on Zeke (bottom).




I think Zeke could have huge implications, especially for the poorly supported claim that the Shroud image is super-superficial. What if was an initially thick image that has subsequently degraded, partially but NOT completely, as is clearly the case for the bloodstains as well? Yup, Zeke could assist with interpretation of BLOOD as well as BODY IMAGE!
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Old 6th March 2017, 01:29 AM   #192
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In the light of the above "Zeke" image, I'm now able to make a welcome simplification to my 3 step model (flour imprinting/oven roasting/ final soap and water wash). Forget about the last step. The initial thick encrustation of Maillard browning products was NOT washed off. It degraded naturally over a few decades! One now has a simpler TWO-STEP model!

So what was displayed initially at Lirey circa 1357? Answer: the initial heavily-encrusted image that one sees straight from the oven. It may have been further plumped up on display days by wetting to create an eye-catching bas relief. That would account for the otherwise bizarre decision to show a plumped-up bas relief on the Lirey pilgrim's badge, presently in the Cluny Museum, Paris:



Recall however that shortly after the first displays, the Avignon Pope Clement banned further displays for some 30 years. That was probably plenty of time for most but importantly NOT ALL (thanks Zeke) the encrustation to fall off naturally, maybe aided with light brushing etc.

I'm hugely relieved to be able to leave off that final wash, since it created complications for the blood imprints, which also show self-evident signs of natural degradation/ partial flaking off through age, wear and tear, rather than as a result of something so cumbersome and potentially-damaging as washing.

Test of the hypothesis? If the particulate flecks are Maillard reaction products, as distinct from inorganic artists' pigments (red ochre, Fe2O3, etc) they should be bleachable, either with Adler/Heller's diimide reagent, NH=NH, or even the ordinary domestic bleach (sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl) that works on my model roasted flour imprints.
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Old 7th March 2017, 04:52 AM   #193
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That new Zeke filter almost certainly reveals the 'pre-particulate' nature of the allegedly oh-so-superficial Shroud image (non-fakeable on that basis alone, or so we're assured!). It's my guess that the first formed encrustation of Maillard reaction products from heated flour and oil leaks a cocktail of reaction products into the fibres of the linen, responsible for the final faint and 'ghostly' stain, one that can survive washing (or prolonged storage) long after most but not all the encrustation has fallen off.

I use an international site to announce this surely significant finding to the world. Result? A deathly silence!

Oh dear. But then I never was a good judge where the media or indeed internet matters are concerned. Best to stick with the plodding ol' science, maybe?

Incidentally, I've tried to figure out what Zeke did to show up those particles. Its effect on an additive RGB colour-mixing chart is exceedingly subtle, adding just a pale grey, merely dulling the Red, Green and Blue ("RGB"). So I'm really none the wiser.
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Old 7th March 2017, 05:12 AM   #194
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Oh come on. It looks that way because it is a small bas relief, not because the shroud had puffed uo crusts of bread hanging from it.
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Old 7th March 2017, 05:31 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
I........That would account for the otherwise bizarre decision to show a plumped-up bas relief on the Lirey pilgrim's badge, presently in the Cluny Museum, Paris:

https://shroudofturinwithoutallthehy...irey-badge.png........
You know that image is displayed on its side? It should be rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise. I'll leave others to suggest whether that has any significance.
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Old 7th March 2017, 05:37 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by meccanoman View Post
Good morning playmates

I have just discovered an amazing photoediting filter on Windows 10. It's called "Zeke". What's special about it?
I'll tell you what. It hugely accentuates any particulate matter on one's image...........
There are squillions of such filters in Photoshop. They can make pretty much anything look like anything you want. I wouldn't take the blindest bit of notice of the artifacts produced by a cheap (free) image manipulation programme. If you think you can justify this, send me an image of the shroud and tell me what you want it to show, and I'll send it back showing just exactly that. You want it to look like an impressionist painting, perhaps, or a black and white pencil sketch? Maybe you want it to look like it was done with charcoal. All do-able in seconds.
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Old 7th March 2017, 07:39 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Oh come on. It looks that way because it is a small bas relief, not because the shroud had puffed uo crusts of bread hanging from it.
Er, hold on minute. The Lirey badge is made of lead/tin alloy. As such, it's been made by metal casting, i.e. pouring molten metal into a cast.

If all we had was the end-product, we'd have to guess at the nature of the cast, except to say it was heat-resistant. But we have the recent discovery of the Machy mould for another "Lirey badge" discovered by a jogger in a field of a neighbouring village. The cast for that is a soft stone ("soap stone" as I recall) that is easily engraved, and less-easily-hollowed out to form a mould for a bas relief.

There's sadly no 'Man on the Shroud' image on that mould, defaced in the key region, but there is an engraved Veronica-like image of Jesus in the margin, above the word "SUAIRE", i.e. meaning SHROUD, together with the same de Charny/de Vergy coats of arms as per Cluny Museum Lirey badge. So why go to the trouble of hollowing out stone and smoothing off those recessed cavities for the Cluny badge, merely to make a bas relief appearance for the cast metal, arguably an unattractive way of portraying the image on the Shroud, especially one supposed to represent the crucified Jesus?

I'm suggesting, based on my model studies, that the Stage 1 imprint, straight from the oven, was discovered to respond magnificently to wetting, plumping up to make a bas relief: the medieval fabricators could not resist the temptation to make that plumping up part of the show, giving it added impact.

Sure I could be wrong, but what alternative explanation can you or others provide for going to all the trouble of making the badge a bas relief metal moulding, given all the extra hollowing-out work needed, over and above a simple scratched engraving to match the Shroud body image (correction, present day Shroud image, a 'shadow' maybe of its former self) ?

I agree, it's a long shot hypothesis, but where are the easy, short shot explanations for that unsightly bas relief we seen on the Cluny badge...?
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Old 7th March 2017, 07:55 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
You know that image is displayed on its side? It should be rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise. I'll leave others to suggest whether that has any significance.
"Displayed on its side"? How do you figure that? It's an exact representation of the configuration on the Turin Shroud, with head-to-head conjunction of both frontal v dorsal views of the same subject, with no sides visible. The fabricator of the badge has even gone to the trouble of engraving the herringbone weave!
Maybe I've missed the point you were making. If so, please clarify.
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Old 7th March 2017, 08:04 AM   #199
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That image as shown in your post is rotated 90 degrees from how it would have been viewed in real life.
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Old 7th March 2017, 08:08 AM   #200
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Here you go:



The Doric columns on the flanks are now vertical, as they should be, and the heraldic shields are no longer lying on their sides. The cross in the middle now makes sense as well.
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