No Paint: Walter McCrone Was Wrong
The claim by Walter McCrone
that he found paint on the Shroud of Turin is completely discredited by facts, facts that appear in
peer-reviewed scientific journals, facts that are disputed by chemical evidence.
The public and many scientists are coming to realize that:
- The images are in fact a caramel-like browning, in places, of an otherwise clear
coating that covers the outermost fibers of the cloth. This coating is between
180 and 600 nanometers thick. This is a carbohydrate substance of starch and
various sugars in trace amounts. It is not paint.
- Spectral tests, some of them undertaken at the National Science Foundation Mass
Spectrometry Center of Excellence at the University of Nebraska, clearly show --
beyond any doubt -- that McCrone did not see through his microscope what claims
to have seen; at least not in quantities sufficient to form a visible image.
- McCrone's work is really nothing more than his interpretations of what he
visually saw. No one else, who has examined the same microscope slides, sees
what he said he saw. His work violates one very basic fundamental of science. An
observation must be confirmable. The work must be repeatable. McCrone's is not.
- McCrone has made some sensational claims that call into question his
credibility. For instance, in Biblical Archeological Review he wrote:
"The paint on the Shroud was dilute (0.01 percent in a 0.01 percent gelatin
solution)." How in the world does one look at dried gelatin many hundred years
later and know how much water was used to dissolve it. It is a ridiculous,
Simon Dennington, Ph.D. wrote on the Shroud.com web site: "I am a research
chemist who works a lot with paints, and am amazed by this statement. Though
McCrone, with his massive experience might be able to very roughly estimate the
proportion of pigment to collagen present on the fibres as being of the order of
1 part in 10,000 (that is to say, 0.01%), to state this exact figure without any
mention of the enormous error involved is really bad practice. And as for
claiming it was applied as a 0.01% gelatin solution, well, it is quite simply
IMPOSSIBLE to know this. You cannot, by any means known to science, tell by
looking at dried gelatin what strength of solution it was applied from!!! To
authoritatively present these wild guesses as "facts" looks like a cheap trick
to 'blind people with numbers' and makes me suspect his other arguments."
scientific study of the Turin shroud is like a microcosm of the
scientific search for God: it does more to inflame any debate than
And yet, the shroud is a remarkable artefact, one of the few religious
relics to have a justifiably mythical status.
simply not known how the ghostly image of a serene, bearded man was
Scientist-Journalist Philip Ball
Nature, January 2005
Nature, that most prestigious of scientific journals, that once had
bragging rights to claim that the Shroud was fake, responding to new,
peer-reviewed studies that discredit the carbon 14 dating and show that
the Shroud could be authentic.
WHAT WE KNOW IN 2005
- The Shroud of Turin is certainly
much older than the now discredited radiocarbon date of 1260-1390.
It is at least twice as old and it could be 2000
- Though no one knows how
it was made, the image is a selective caramel-like darkening of an otherwise
clear coating of starch fractions and various saccharides.
- The blood is real blood.
- Much of what we think we see in the
image is an optical illusion.
Shroud of Turin Facts Check: