Mistaken Authority

Tonight I will wrap up my response to the news24.com article on a documentary entitled Water: The Great Mystery. I started this trilogy in October 2008 and am now ready to finish it off. I must apologise for the delay, please read through the first two installments if you have not done so;

Part 1, More Water Woo, addresses the likelihood of life to evolve independent of water. Part 2, Seven Suspicious Water Claims, takes a closer look at the specific sciency sounding claims made in the documentary.

As the title of this post suggests, I will address the dangers of believing what you are told by authority figures. Very often we are presented with a person’s credentials as a “Bestselling Author” or some other string of impressive titles and we are asked to give them more credence because of their background. It is only natural for us to trust what we are told by people who have spent an awful lot of time working on a specific theory.This is known as the “Argument from Authority”, when someone tries to convince you of something based solely on their perceived authority while paying little heed to the facts be very sceptical.

Unfortunately, A person’s authority does not always mean that their theory is correct. Take the extremely popular and ancient practice of bloodletting as an example. This practice was the go-to prescription for a variety of illnesses, and it was very dangerous indeed. Today we can understand that the choice of bloodletting in the following case was erroneous;

On 12 December 1799 retired president of the United States of America, George Washington, spent several hours inspecting his farms on horseback. The weather was atrocious, progressing from snow to hail and freezing rain. When Washington awoke the next morning he was feeling ill, he had a sore throat and the symptoms of a cold. Washington decided not to take any medication, feeling as though he could overcome the sniffles. His condition deteriorated and in the early hours of the 14th he awoke gasping for air.

Mr Albin Rawlins, Washington’s estate manager attempted to treat him with a molasses and vinegar compress and when this was ineffective in relieving Washington’s dire condition, Rawlins decided to draw blood. Rawlins was an accomplished blood letter and he removed 300ml of blood from Washington. Unfortunately his condition deteriorated and Washington’s doctors were summoned, Dr. Richard Brown and Dr. Elisha Dick and Dr. James Craik.

During the hours that followed, up until the evening of the 14th, Washington’s medical team bled more than three litres of blood from his body. At one point it was noted that the blood flowed slowly and appeared viscous, this is a clear indication that Washington’s body was dehydrated from loss of blood. To put this into perspective, the average human body only holds 5 litres of blood. George Washington died that evening at the hands of the doctors who were trying to treat him through a dangerous treatment, one which was accepted as effective based on the fact that it had been used for thousands of years. Luckily the practice of bloodletting has all but disappeared today with the advent of evidence based medicine.

How does all of this relate to the theme of Water? Well, there are two researchers who are specifically named in the news24 article and the Water documentary, Masaru Emoto and Rustum Roy, and I would like you to be very careful when you are asked to believe anything these guys tell you.

At this point I need to highlight a concept known as pseudoscience. Steven Novella of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe defines pseudoscience as;

a belief system that pretends or tries to be scientific but is hopelessly flawed in methodology. Most pseudosciences are actually ideologies masquerading as science or looking to attach the respectability of science to an ideology. Pseudosciences often go to great lengths to cover themselves in the patina of science – using scientific sounding jargon, doing studies, creating institutes and journals, etc., but they lack the authentic methods of science. The primary feature of pseudosciences is that they generally start with an ideologically desired conclusion and then work backwards to fill in justification. “Type specimens” of pseudoscience include ghosthunting, ESP research, cryptozoology, UFOlogy, and homeopathy.

Masaru Emoto is a world class pseudoscientist who believes that exposing water to different emotions can change the appearance of the ice crystals which form when that water is frozen. Basically, if you expose a vial of water to the word “Love” it will form pretty crystals, but if you expose that same water to the word “Hate” it’s crystals will be ugly. Yes, I am serious. There are so many flaws in Masaru’s reasoning that I dont even know where to begin. Isn’t it obvious that this work is highly interpretive and open to bias? Emoto and his colleagues believe that the perceived response of water to “positive” thoughts is a great way to bring about world peace. You know, since our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water, if you froze all the children on Earth we would have world peace. Interesting….

Emoto’s work is touchy feely pseudoscience and he should be regarded with the highest amount of scepticism.

Rustum Roy is another interesting character referred to in the Water documentary. He is a highly experienced and well respected academic, unfortunately he seems to have developed a moral conviction based on water woo. Rustum Roy believes in water’s power to heal the human body, if this sounds suspiciously like homeopathy you would be right. A quick inspection of his web page sows that Rustum seems to have made it his mission to prove that homeopathy is a valid medical modality.

In the abstract of an article published in the journal Homeopathy (Volume 96, Issue3, July 2007, pg175-182), available at sciencedirect.com one can see just how much of the kool-aid Rustum has consumed. I will borrow from the James Randi Educational Foundations’ forum discussion on this topic in order to highlight my concerns;

Pipirr points out;

You may note the rampant speculation, and overuse of ‘preliminary data’. However, what is most extraordinary to me is that the entire journal edition is devoted to ‘the memory of water’. It’s as though the Nature committee’s debunking of Benveniste never happened.

Mojo would like us to take note of the following;

I see he’s running his strawman argument again:

Quote:
The key stumbling block to serious consideration of homeopathy is the presumed “implausibility” of biological activity for homeopathic medicines in which the source material is diluted past Avogadro’s number of molecules.

The key stumbling block is that it doesn’t work.

And last but not least Zep asks;

Has he got any actual reliable data? Or is it all just rampant gobbledygook and speculation.

Thanks guys, I could not have said it better myself.

As I have pointed out in my previous posts on this topic, if a scientist insists on believing in something (such as homeopathy or acupuncture) when the weight of evidence points to the modality having no basis in reality, that scientist faces the very real danger of being sidelined by the community of his/her peers. Deciding to go straight to the public for fame and fortune, as Emoto and Roy have done with their work in trying to prove that water has memory by convincing as great a proportion of the populace that their methods are legitimate as possible, cannot serve as an acceptable alternative to doing real science.

P.S. I need to say a special “Thank You” to Micheal Meadon for helping me to get this article posted. You rock Mike!


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48 responses to “Mistaken Authority

  1. Only have to say one thing to show why this article is not the way to debate things.

    “You know, since our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water, if you froze all the children on Earth we would have world peace. Interesting….”

    This is total and utter bulshit! Its ridiculing an idea to discredit it. And why would you discredit something by ridiculing it? Most often because you cant find a proper argument…
    No matter how wrong or unplausibel it seems. Using this kind of argument is only make people who agree with you stick, those who dont will just blame you of the same you do the documentary, as in not posting facts and evidence. And those on the fence, most likely the majority of us is not gonna have learned anything and sit with more questions then answers…

  2. Eureka! I have reproduced the water memory results!

    After spending the first half of the week telling jokes to a glass of water that I collected from the local storm drain, …I can unequivocally report that it tastes …funny!

  3. It is impossible to determine atoms position when there is no sound frequency (quantum physics). Atoms vibrate, therefore everything has its own frequency; we live exist and are the energy field. When we think we send vibrations, those vibrations form matter (water crystals?), there are no solidity in quantum physics, matter can only be formed when there is frequency. Our hearths have the strongest frequency pulse,(you know that feeling called love? well it’s sending frequency waves, into the invisible energy field). I could see how it makes sense, when we love, we send this strong frequency and it shapes the structure of atoms in the water, therefore we can see beautiful geometrical patterns. Quantum physics isn’t proven by scientists yet(last time I checked) so I might be all wrong and very naive 🙂
    However, while on one particular illegal drug; beautiful geometrical patterns can be seen, people say you literally go to another dimension, it is very intensive and vivid but lasts only for 10-15 minutes. The strangest thing is that sound wave has a property to turn into object in the 4th dimension, geometrical object!
    Here is another example how our mind thinking work. We live in illusions and believes that have no actual profound meaning, meaning is just yet another delusional illusion created by our mind.There are no rules or meanings, we give meanings, illusions that this is right or wrong, real or unreal hence we create our own non physical reality, has no matter but feels so real. What if, our physical reality was based on the same principals. Would make perfect sense that we create and shape our reality.
    Ghost DNA experiment is another great project which showed how sound vibration was able to teleport matter into distilled water and latter on it started to form more complex living creatures, not by weeks or days but by hours! However again it has some doubts, so nothing is known for sure 🙂
    I actually like knowing that I can control reality, I feel more in control of my thoughts, healthier, happier and with a different kind of mind state, even if it’s and illusion. I know people are thought totally different kind of mind set and look just look around what is happening.
    Sound could explain evolution, gravity, miracles, cure to diseases and many other hidden secrets.
    Good bye people made from atoms,please try blessing your water and see for yourselves! I like when people think for themselves, there is hope then.

    At first there was sound, and that sound was God…

    • This is officially the most nonsensical comment I have ever had on my blog. Quantum Physics hasn’t been proven, but you can love water to make ghost-alien-DNA creatures? WHAT?

      • This fellow is surely smoking something really awful; or is this a case of water intoxication? 😉

        Two of my favourite quotes which I think are applicable here:
        “Proper science is based not on authority, but solely on reason and evidence.” Walter Starck, “‘Threats’ to the Great Barrier Reef”
        “Skepticism is the first step toward truth.” – Denis Diderot

      • oh ffs I can’t find a “reply directly to article” button anywhere!

        I can’t help but think that the “hate” water was shaken up at some point during the freezing process, while the “love” water was left as is until solid. I’m not an expert or really a scientist but, it makes sense to me that if the forming crystal structure is broken, misaligned and disrupted by shaking, the final result would be “ugly” crystals?

        • *meep* more to say on this:
          If the forming crystals are agitated and then allowed to continue freezing, there would be cracks and misalignments in the final crystal, right? Therefore, the crystal could be said to show the history of its formation. and that history would remain visible until the ice is again melted or otherwise altered.
          WOOT! water CAN have memory! now all I need to do is work backward from the result and figure out how to include telepathy, ancient astronauts and the Mayan calendar and I’ll be RICH!

  4. Thank you for taking the time to blog about this water based religion. I have a dear friend of many years that has fallen victim to this distorted worldview. There is no breaking him of it. He believes and regurgitates all this water memory b.s. It’s troubling because he’s almost 50 and if he learns that everything he believes is false he may not respond well.
    This ‘water memory’ and ‘homeopathy’ is faith based, or placebo; period.
    I have such mixed views about duelling with the faithful. On one hand, you are attempting to enlighten the ignorant, and that is noble. On the other hand, you aren’t changing anyone’s mind. It’s faith based after all.
    Good blog. Tx 🙂

    • Hello Mark,

      Its funny the way you approach the question, calling it placebo like bullshit and that is all a lie. I’ve posted on this blog the only known attempt to reproduce the experiences with water and i would advice you to read it. If you are a scientific truth seeker than you will see that nobody has been able to prove or disprove the experiences. There are a lot of negative reviews, but only one experience reproducing it. So if we are to remain open to scientific “truth” lets not call bullshit to something we do not understand or that we cannot disprove. And about placebo, let me just tell you that you might need to get more scientific to be a critic about such a complex manifestation. I would advice you to search Dr. Fabrizio Benedetti (one of the world top neuroscientists) and Dr.Ted Kaptchuk, Harvard’s leading reasearcher for the placebo effect (Yes, because even the conservative Harvard’s university has been increasing the level of attention paid to such a complex natural manifestation). And also such articles as “From placebo to panacea” or even such subjects as the non-specific effects of medical therapies. As i’ve been saying in this blog since the very beggining, lets remain open to different possibilities and try not to fall in ignorant arrogance.

      Cheers

      • So, it’s never been proven but we mustn’t consider it to be rubbish?
        That’s a stupid idea.

        (Although I do agree with you that the placebo effect is complex, I would recommend reading Ben Goldacre on the subject.)

    • And Mark, have you ever considered the possibilty of you being the one not capable of handling the truth, instead of your friend? Have you even considered the possibilty that it is your worldview that is wrong and that is you that might need to reconsider your scientific truths?
      Think for yourself, question authority. No fear.

      Cheers

  5. Do you have any evidence to back up your stance on the water documentary? I read all three of your reviews and the best you seem to be able to do is “other scientists dont believe in this so i dont”. If your so sure of yourself where is your data? This sounds like scientific dogma to me.

    • Hey Shaman,

      I am not the one making extraordinary claims about the nature of water. I don’t have to provide the evidence.
      Accepting the scientific consensus is not a bad thing. You may call it dogma, but surely dogma is not open to scientific debate and inquiry? Surely the very nature of dogma is that people are told to believe it despite poor supporting evidence?
      I don’t need to repeat the experiments in the documentary to know that they are of no scientific value.
      Also, I haven’t made any outlandish claims about water can do. I haven’t made any claims that go outside of established knowledge, this isn’t a bad thng when you are refuting the outlandish claims made by others.
      If you would like me to provide specific data on any particular point that I raised, I will be more than happy to do so.

      Thank you for your comment.

      • Good night you all,

        i have been in more than one site on the internet debating about the questions related to the refered doc., and after some research i went through a lot of reviews on the subject, most of them refuting the assumptions made by the scientists on the doc. However, when i tried to find reproductions of the experiment the only published reproduction of Emoto’s work on record was conducted by Mr. Damian Nash’s AP psychology class at Durango High School in Colorado. and as published on the website of the Institute of Noetic Sciences on May 25, 2004, Mr. Nash states that the team “did not find sufficient evidence to refute or accept Emoto’s hypothesis that thought influences water crystal formation.”

        So, are reviews more valuable than experimental reproductions? I think we should remain open to possibility, because i think we have nothing to lose. Personally, i wouldnt mind that in a few years mankind would find ways of activate a little more of our amazing brain or maybe a little of the so called “junk DNA” and allow us to intervene in our health through our thought – wich its not in the realm of the impossible regarding the existence of such phenomena as the unexplainable and undeniable widespread and known placebo effect – and become more independent of pharmacology. Im an optimistic person and that sounds like good stuff. Why not?…

      • Hi Paulo,

        So, the claims that Emoto makes are unverified, thank you for the update. I wouldn’t count the Institute of Noetic Sciences as a reliable resource though. They walk a fine line between science and pseudoscience and they often fall into the woo camp. Just because it has the word Science in the name, doesn’t mean it is scientific.

        As far as activating more of our brain, we already use all of our brain. If we didn’t, we would have developmental and neurological defects. The idea that we only use X percent of our brain is not supported by science.

        And I don’t know why you would want to use the junk DNA in your genome, and there is no reason to believe that doing so would allow us any kind of psychic body-healing abilities. All the DNA in our genome is shared with other life forms on our evolutionary path from algae to human and no living animal/plant has any such ability (that we know of).

        Thank you for writing.

        • Good morning (if you are in the northern hemisphere=) )

          About the use of our brain i dont quite agree that we use all of it and we have the example of the use of psychadelics as LSD. When a brain is scaned while someone is on LSD it is confirmed that parts of the brain that normally have a certain “amount” of activity have, while the effect lasts, their activity increased, like the parts related to verbal functions; meaning that we become more verbally fluent, in ways that we simply cant achieve without that boosting. So that tells me that, although the whole brain is alive it can be boosted by certain subtances, and if it can be so then it is plausible to say that our brain is not working in its total potential; another example is case of the savants wich you might be familiar with. Their amazing abillities, with a brain just like ours in its phisiology, tells us that there is some sort of “click” that our brains might be susceptible to in order to increase its potential. And about the so called “junk Dna”, dont you think that it is a limitation of humans to call junk to something we just dont yet understand? Dna its a molecule that remains imutable since the beggining of life and its small “functional” part its responsible for all the diversity we see around us; what i mean is that nature tends to eliminate everything that doesnt serve the purpose of evolution, like vestigial structures such as the appendix. So, if Dna is here since the beggining of life(millions of years) dont you think that nature has already had time to eliminate that junk Dna? But it is still there…Dont you think that it is a little anthropocentric to call junk to something that we dont understand,and specially when less than a half of that something is responsible for all the amazing diversity that life holds?
          And what about the placebo effect? you didnt say anything about that…

          Cheers!!

  6. What an excellent site. I’m saddened by some of the depressing, albeit predictable, responses some people have given though.
    Scientific thought and endeavor is the only thing, incidentally, that will bring us out of dark caves of ignorance into the light of greater understanding. It is the purest most advanced from of human thought. For something to be scientifically viable it has to be proven by peer review and boundless repeatability. So far, water memory studies appear to have very little peer review or repeatability.It is therefore, by definition, a pseudoscience until more concrete repeatable data can be amassed. In the meantime it is a topic ripe for charlatans’ ignoramuses and those that have not learned to view the world scientifically with overwhelming evidence being the clincher for acceptable scientific ideas. Evolution by natural selection is a prime example of such incontrovertible evidence, water memory is not.

    • Hello Patrick,

      There were somethings i couldnt help noticing in your statement wich were:”For something to be scientifically viable it has to be proven by peer review and boundless repeatability.” and ” In the meantime it is a topic ripe for charlatans’ ignoramuses and those that have not learned to view the world scientifically with overwhelming evidence being the clincher for acceptable scientific ideas”

      First of all everything that we call science today used to be someones speculation about a new possible explanation for a given phenomenon in a given period of history. As you might know, every scientific revolution started by causing disconfort among the scientific authorities, by questioning the scientific paradigms and “truths” of their time; paradigms that happened to be the result of boundless repeatitions of their respective scientific comunities. that also happen to be fine-tuned with the orientating ideological principles of the time. Do you remember such scientific “truths” such as Lobotomy, awarded with a nobel prize, that latter became known more as an attrocity.than a scientific truth. And there are countless examples. throughout history. What i mean with all this is: The basic principle of science its is falsifiability, wich is the principle that underlies the possibility of ideological evolution. Without that our comprehension of the world would be forever static and limited.
      Thats why i dont understand self-righteousness and arrogance towards things we cant quite understand. What history tells us is that the truth of today its tomorow’s lie and that the ideological and scientific charlatans and speculators of today are likely to become remembered by their originality and courage. That is called creativity. If not, then we can always laugh about it. On the other hand, the world charged with certainty that you seem to project and accept as the only worthwhile world for scientific intelligent people, is likely to be a boring and dull one.
      Think for yourself, question authority. No fear.

      Cheers

  7. I read your criticism of water memory. What I did not hear was an explanation of why you rebuke the findings, why it is untrue by your observation.

  8. I just can’t even read any of your paragraphs without laughing. Try this experiment, and you will truly understand why we know jack shit about water:
    Take 2 cups and fill with 1/2 cup water, and 1/3 cup rice in each cup. Set them next to each other in a place where they won’t be disturbed for a month. Every day, say “Thank you” to one cup, and “you disgust me” to the other cup. Do this for 30 days, you won’t be disappointed 🙂

  9. Hi Angela. I’ve arrived at your site today by pure accident! I was watching a number of documentaries today, with one of them being the Mystery of Water Doco. As I watched it, my B.S. detector started to cry out, but I couldn’t for the life of me put 2 and 2 together. I watched certain parts over and over, and decided that this must all be typical woo-woo garbage that people would like to be true. I didn’t notice any amount of skepticism about it using my internet search engine, but when I searched for ‘water the great mystery debunked’ (I think that is what I used) I came across your website … and some brilliant and logical explanations. Needless to say, I’ve spent the past few hours searching around your website and reading, and I’d just like to thank you for what you’re doing, and to let you know that I am probably only one of many people who appreciate enormously the effort you are putting in … thank you!

    • Hi Rob, thank you very much for your kind compliments. I have always hoped that this site could help people and I am very glad that you find it so informative. Please come back often, and if you have any other “BS detection” moments, let me know and I can do some investigating for you.

      • Maybe it’s true that one does only see what one wants to see, but that goes two ways… If I hadn’t found out about the ‘fact’ that there are valid ‘alternative’ therapies for cancer, the night before my girlfriend was scheduled for a mastectomy (to be followed up by chemotherapy and radiation therapy), she would now be disfigured or worse. Instead, after doing some research on our own, we abandoned the ‘conventional medical circuit’ and put a new (to us) alternative therapy to work. Three months later, an ultrasound showed no more signs of the two malignant tumors (confirmed by core biopsy – have the reports at hand). Now, 2 years and 4 months later, my girlfriend is more healthy than ever. Reaction of the doctors? They do their best to ignore it 🙂

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  14. Good afternoon,

    First of all i would like to apologize for any failures of my english.

    I dont really understand the skeptic approaches, because, many times, they lack clarity and are always supported by mainstream science, meaning that, mainstream science is, in a lot of situations, nothing more than an agreement between men. I will give you my perpective.
    The first example is the placebo effect. I presume that you are familiar with the placebo effect. And my question is, how does science justifie such an effect? How does a sugar pill substitute a drug producing the cure? Science cant yet understand the placebo effect, but, because it is an undiniable effect, widely confirmed i bet skecptics accept it with no questions asked. However, it sounds a lot like pseudoscience; “a sugar pill can cure just because you have a lot of faith in it?!”. Tottaly sounds like pseudoscience (i have a master degree in Psychology and i’ve written essays on that matter, with a lot of research and, from what i have read everywhere, it is an undeniable effect). So this is a question that science cannot prove or disprove, but still true.
    Second lets focus on science about the universe, the science thaught in schools, universities and wide spread in channels like national geografic. Let me ask you this: how do scientists prove the existence of dark matter, if no one has ever touched it or seen it? And how does science proves that, in galaxy thousands of light-years away there is a planet with earth-like conditions or that there is a planet with a corrosive atmosphere if no one has ever been able to touch it, see it( or even a space probe)? And about our planet i would ask: how does science states that the inside of our planet is divided into layers with different constitutions and properties(5 of them), if we didnt even drill down until the end of the first layer? And to finish this set of questions( i could keep asking questions like this for hours), i ask you how can science say that the theory of evolution is true if we are yet to find the transitional fossils, or the so called missing links?
    Do you want to know the answers to all this questions? Speculation… We take this things for granted and theach this at school, but no one has ever touched or found ways to prove without any doubt that dark matter exists, no one has ever been to other galaxys, no one has found the missing link to say that evolution happened the way it is taught and no one has ever been to center of the earth (beside Jules Verne, of course. Just kidding).
    And it is all of this that highlights the intelectual blindness and arrogance of the skeptics when they criticize someone like mr Masaru Emoto, that, most likely, has spent more hours in a laboratory (with years of mastery in laboratory techniques)than you probably ever will;you accept everything that was agreed by the majority whitout questioning(wich shows lack of creativity and lack of legitimacy to counter-argue) but if someone dares to challenge current paradigms, or dares to propose something never before explored, it is ridiculed.
    Im going to give a small historical example:it was in ancient Greece, 2500 years ago, which for the first time someone has speculated about the existence of fundamental constituents of matter(not the fundamental, because now scientists speculate about the sub-atomic particles, like quarks), the atom (it was the Greeks who named the particle); however it took almost 2500 years for man to develop technical means to achieve confirmation of this millennial speculation. If we take history as a guide we will readily perceive that any concrete science, before it becomes science it was someone’s speculation: indeed, if there was no speculation about new possibilities the world would be static and we wouldnt invent anything more.
    I think that it is much more easy to destroy someones work, than to built something new.

  15. Not everything can be explained. We do not have all the answers. Science makes proof today and is contradicted by more findings tomorrow. We are not gods, and we don’t know everything and neither does science. In the grand scheme of things it’s all conjecture as we seek for meaning and purpose. Our bodies are made up of energy (something you seem to have difficulty understanding) and claim to be untrue – energy, chi, chakra it doesn’t matter what it’s called it’s all the same thing and I’m afraid you haven’t successfully presented your argument either. The documentary was well put and gave food for thought. The overall message was a very good one (about how we are destroying the very things in nature whose existence we depend upon), and here you are trying to debunk what they say simply because you don’t believe. You have the choice to believe or not however just because an individual finds the subject matter far fetched doesn’t make something untrue – and besides you have to remember that you are subject to only knowing what you know. Because you do not know everything and your argument against the documentary sounds a little smallminded and petty. I agree one shouldn’t just accept something because someone in authority says it but what you must understand is that no one is an authority it’s all conjecture and ideas and it’s up to the individual to find their own truth and what works for them. Your article didn’t make me respect your point of view because you didn’t prove your point with any substantial evidence and I feel at least the doc presented a compelling point. It seems you don;t have any kind of spiritual beliefs and I find that most times people casting doubt on others is simply because they themselves are lost so rather than finding something to believe in they try to tear others beliefs down rather than trying to find the truth.
    I’m surprised that you give zero credit to anything in the doc and have painted it all as poppycock. Science isn’t god and can only try to help us find answers but science cannot prove everything. Maybe there are other reasons why you felt the need to slam it so? What do you believe in? Do you believe in good? Are you living in a false paradise? And simply ignoring the parasitic nature of bad deeds and how they affect us and the world we live in? Maybe it’s hard for you to believe because there are home truths that if you believe in being spiritual (truly so) that maybe it will reveal something about you that you don’t want to acknowledge because it is the root of evil?

  16. First off…I enjoy reading your blog……but…..One should not be a total skeptic as you are nor believe all they hear. There is a lot that science does not understand…yet. If everyone was like you…..science would never even TRY to understand. There is beyond amazing science happening right now….that years ago most believed as you do. Thank to the curious, visionaries and dreamers. Its sad that ideas that men came up with 50, 100, 200 etc years ago….are just now being found true….and now its suddenly “proven science”. Your skepticism is healthy….but you are also trying to come off as an authority figure…the same you warn us about. Funny how that works.

    • Rustum Roy was my teacher over 40 years ago. I learned from him, there are no rules and regulations to do science. Everyone is free to observe, sense, and infer anything and any phenomenon – this is our nature and our right. And what I discovered was that such freedom is found when one is alone with nature. It is here one develops a deep awareness of variables, there effects, and their meanings and value. It is here we learn our limitations, our assumptions, our subjections. It is here we become even more curious about the universe outside that is limited by motion. In this laboratory there are things that our senses feel and mind understands; and there too are things beyond ordinary sense-perception. These later things are not understood until they too are made to understand by something bigger and more powerful in us (subconscious mind, inner mind, soul, god, or whatever you wish to call, or not call) to our little ego mind. And then there is something that goes totally into the experiential domain. To this best of my observations not only Rustum Roy and Masaru Emoto, but many others are trying to understand this as we begin to see and feel the necessity of timelessness in the domain of motion, of matter, of energy. We are synthesizing the universe of motion with that where light is not a slave of time!

      The author of this article and most comments are nothing more than comical and reflect their biases and ignorance. But then I could also be wrong!

  17. Hi there, excellent work, glad to see a fellow scientist actually trying to get behind the hype and expose verifiable facts… especially on water memory, pure comedy, like homeopathy…absolute nonsense. The creationist holy god squad will not go away easily and they continue to spread misinformation and out dated superstition, glad people like you are standing up for truth. best wishes, Jeremy

  18. George,
    You said “The civic law gives the benefit of doubt but not the scientific one. Maybe we should start by changing that: You are right unless proven wrong.”. And yet you claim to have a PhD in Physics? Surely a PhD knows the rules of scientific evidence well enough to know that such a position is untenable? You do appreciate that method would allow anyone to make the most toweringly illogical and fantastical claims and, due to no sensible method ever being available proving otherwise, insist they are therefore totally valid.

    In short, you want someone to prove a negative – a tall order under all but the most rigorous of scientific conditions. And I expect you also know the correct approach to any of this is that the claimant must prove a positive, and not shift the burden of proof elsewhere. Which in turn means they need to produce reliable data of some sort, hence my referenced comment.

    Which brings us back to Emoto and Roy, and their positions. I’ll give you a short-cut to where they are really at: They aren’t in this business for science or the common weal. They are in it for fame and money. First and foremost (in fact, only). Or they are insane. Which explains a whole lot about their rank silliness despite their qualifications and mountains of evidence failing to support one iota of their claims.

  19. skepticdetective,

    you have a blatant bias and you resort to namecalling ‘new age hippie igorance’, those who would offer a very well thought response. how does homeopathy have anything to do with the cellular intelligence of water? additionally, modern allopathic medicinal drugs are all derived from organic plant matter. so, what plants don’t actually have healing and therapeutic properties?

    you’ve chosen to be skeptical of modalities other than “modern” science, yet our understanding of the universe is at an infantile state. those who have taken a look into some of the “new age hippie” ideas you refer are identifying many strong areas of science supporting the other modalities you refer.

    funny how you suggest to ‘question authority’, yet these “fringe” scientists you’re speaking of are the one’s questioning authority.

  20. First off all reveal yourself, sign with your name. Secondly, if you want to dismiss something as pseudoscience you must give proof to the contrary no but simply saying so. What we do not understand or cannot measure by our still primitive instruments does not mean is not there. Just the opposite. The civic law gives the benefit of doubt but not the scientific one. Maybe we should start by changing that: You are right unless proven wrong. Just a thought form a Phd in Physics with 20 years experience. Would that make me an authority? It is so easy to dismiss when you are governed by your subconscious or basically when you are asleep, even if you are awake. I would say to you: Wake up.

  21. JCessna, the difference between homeopathy and flight is that we know flight works. We can test it. We can see what happens when we don’t build a wing to provide proper lift.
    Homeopathy is fringe pseudoscience, the body of literature never matures, we have no evidence that it works. In fact we have considerable evidence that it does not work.

    We do not accept theories which sound good. We accept theories which provide accurate, reliable results when they are tested.

    Are you telling me that a lack of scientific inquiry is what lead us to have the depth of understanding of our universe which we do? Your assertion that we are creating a never ending string of questions without providing answers is flawed.

    Your new age hippie ignorance undermines your attempt at a rational argument.

  22. Although a healthy skepticism is prudent, those who would wax skeptic will always find themselves in a state of stagnation. When we fail to open our minds to the possibilities that exist beyond known science we close all avenues to a brighter more dynamic future.

    Your argument at face value is dismissive and ignorant. All science in its infancy is pseudoscience. Einstein himself said that general relativity would not apply in a black hole. It’s funny that when physics fails to answer a question, they just come up with another theory – and if it sounds good then it is excepted. The thing is though this never ending string of theories constantly is expanding, and never answered the first question.

    It is easy to laugh at those on the fringe, but it is these fringe kooks that gave us a round Earth theory, flight and countless other things we take for granted today. I say good thing these people are out passionately exploring there beliefs, because if everybody were a skeptic and just went about there business we would still be living in caves.

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