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Hidden Messages in Water
I got an email from Enio asking me: I would like to know your opinion about Masaru Emoto's "Crystal Water Photos".

First, some background. Masaru Emoto's book The Hidden Messages in Water is currently #66 in sales rank on Amazon. That means A LOT of people are buying it. Here's the blurb from the cover that pretty much explains what Masaru Emoto and his crystal water photos are all about:

The Hidden Messages in Water is an eye-opening theory showing how water is deeply connected to people's individual and collective consciousness. Drawing from his own research, scientific researcher, healer, and popular lecturer Dr. Masaru Emoto describes the ability of water to absorb, hold, and even retransmit human feelings and emotions. Using high-speed photography, he found that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward it. Music, visual images, words written on paper, and photographs also have an impact on the crystal structure. Emoto theorizes that since water has the ability to receive a wide range of frequencies, it can also reflect the universe in this manner. He found that water from clear springs and water exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns, while polluted water and water exposed to negative thoughts forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. Emoto believes that since people are 70 percent water, and the Earth is 70 percent water, we can heal our planet and ourselves by consciously expressing love and goodwill.

What do I think of this theory? Well, at the risk of giving off a lot of negative energy that's going to make a whole bunch of water crystals get all bent out of shape, I think it's complete baloney. But then, I'm not very 'open minded' about things like this. So I would think that.
(but I have to add: since when has the earth been 70 percent water? Do they mean the surface of the earth? That might make sense. But the earth itself ain't 70 percent water)
Categories: Photos/VideosScience
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 06, 2005
There's a lot of theories that are considered quite valid and widely accepted that scientists have yet to "prove." isnt that the definition of a theory? Take Darwin's theory of evolution, which most scientitific morons take as fact and indesputable, despite the fact that it's utterly simplistic when you take into consideration the infinitely complex biological systems that were completely unknown to Darwin at the time and which now make his "theory" dubious at best. Add to that that no "real" scientist in the modern age has even attempted to prove Darwin's theory because of the complexities involved in trying to squeeze the evoloution of those complex biological systmes into the time frame provided by Darwin. To me you might as well call Adam and Eve your great, great, great, great...grandparents just as readily as you believe in Mr. Darwin's theory. Science is not a religion and it is fallable and there are things about this universe "like the mysteries of water" that it cannot prove with the current limitations of technology. which leaves the possibliy that water is an inert chemical with absolutely no consciouss awareness or that it is imbued with intelligence and consciousness both equally acceptable possibilities. Since when did scientist=skeptic? And some of you talk about science like my crazy Christian friends talk about Jesus. BELIEVE IN SCIENCE [Jesus} for it can set you FREE!!!!!!
Posted by greg  in  New York  on  Wed Apr 05, 2006  at  11:44 AM
greg said:

"With statementes like "Those "predetermined beliefs" are called SCIENCE. We believe in it/them because they are the best system by which humans can understand the world around us that anyone has yet devised. If you have a better one, please tell us about it so that mankind can benefit." You sound like some Bible beating Christians I know."

No one here thinks that science is a religion, Greg.

Let me explain the difference. Religion requires that you take things on faith, even though they cannot be proven. Science, on the other hand, constantly tests what it proposes. When it is able to successfully challenge a theory, it UPDATES ITSELF. This is a fundamental difference, not a trivial one. Religion tends to stay "stuck in amber," so to speak, precisely because it does NOT test its assertions.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  03:40 AM
Greg, this is so utterly erroneous it's hard to know where to start. I'm not wholly convinced that post is not just trolling, but in case it's simply a case of genuine miscomprehension I'll try and answer atleast some of the points you make.

Perhaps I should start with what 'science' is. Science is not - whatever you think - a belief system: if it is anything it is a methodology, and an approch to the world. A scientific approach involves a number of basic steps:

a) looking at observable data and searching for a falisifiable hypothesis to explain that data. When a hypothesis is 'falsifiable' means that it is possible to disprove it - one consequence of this is that by definition the scientific method excludes supernatural explanations as these are not falsifiable. Why not? Well, take this reasoning: if there is a God we cannot know that he is not directly interfering with experiments - in the recent study of the efficacy of prayer, for example, we cannot know that God was not deliberately opting to refuse the scientists conducting the research any clear proof of His existence because proof denies faith.

b) making testable predictions based on the hypothesis and testing those predictions.

c) rinse and repeat: scientific hypotheses that stand up to experimental testing are called 'theories'. Theories are never 'proven' - a theory which accurately describes the world remains a 'theory', no matter how true it may be. And yes, theories get overturned and updated all the time.

The theory of evolution is one such theory; Darwin developed a hypothesis in the 19th century, which he and others subjecte to rigorous testing. With time, however, further scientific advances have been made (again through the scientific method rather than through revelation!) and the initial basis - Darwin's theory of natural selection - has been greatly expanded. This is one reason why those of us who know anything abot evolution hate the abuse of the term 'Darwinism' or 'Darwinian evolution' - it seems to imply that evolutionary theory as it now stands has come no further than Darwin's morphological observations.

This comment has gone on quite ong enough, though, and I can't hope to even begin to remedy your lack of knowledge of science here. However, if you are really interested is learning how evolution can explain complexity I'm willing to try and discuss it by email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I stress, though, that I'm merely an interested layman studying the subject for pleasure rather than actually being a working scientist in any discipline!
Posted by outeast  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  03:57 AM
first, I thought that I made it clear that with my use of the quote that I'm not the one who used the word belief. that was someone else. And based upon that statement and others I've read here it seems a lot of what is reported as "science" is taken as faith and believed without question. But, maybe I'm just misinterpreting what I'm reading here and of course that is possible. And as far as the explanation of the scientific method I thank you for the refresher because I didn't remember exactly what my 7th grade science teacher had taught me, but you summed it up quite nicely. I wonder if that rigourous method was used when they started pushing Vioxx on people. And Im sure that the patients who take these drugs have taken the time to apply the scientific method before consuming these pernicious drugs and not just taking them on faith and believing that the drug companies and doctors have done that for them and are ligitmately interested in their health. I wonder if its being used to examine the effects of genetically modified organisms on the health of human beings? I wonder if that type of energy and integrity of the scientific method is really being pursued or if they are pursuing something else ($$$$$$$$)? That whole summary of my 7th grade teacher's lesson sounds really great, full of integrity, and idealism; it even sounds like an honest pursuit of truth, which is what I always thought science was. But that is not what is being passed on as "science" to the masses by the greedy corporations and the Big Boyz who run them whose intentions are far from as honest, idealistic or honorable as your summary would have me believe. You're correct about the erroneous nature of my description of evolution because that is exactly what is taught in schools and forced down people's minds as facts with no encouragement given to see if that's the whole story. Im not arguing that evolution is not legitimate or that it is the way that life came to be on this planet because I think the idea has a lot of validity. And I am aware that the idea has been taken further, but the fact remains it's still a theory and that is not what is taught or how it is presented to the mainstream morons or by people who use evolution as a way of dismissing other possibilities as if evolution has been "proven" and that's it end of story. Somewhere along the way your beautiful definition of theory is conviently lost or forgotten in the process.
Posted by Greg  in  NY  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  09:41 AM
It seems to me that the biggest hoaxes, or at least the one's we should be worried about are not Dr. Emoto's theories on water, which many here are so quick to dismiss and lambast because the guy gets a little touchy feely, and dare I say spiritual. And yes he's probably made a nice buck off of them. But it seems to me that we should be talking about the science being used by huge multinational biotech companies using science to set us up for the biggest frauds and hoaxes ever committed. It seems to me you guys are way to trusting of scientists. This whole field of genetics, genetically modified organisms and the like is very scary. We are all aware of course that these companies are obtaining patents on the genes to nearly every plant and animal that they can and that they are in the process of claiming these genes as "intellectual property" and working to make it illegal for anyone to produce seeds for something like corn or sell corn without paying them first because they own the rights to the genes. Ive heard of lawsuits against organic farmers who are corrupting the genetics of GMO crops. can anyone confirm or deny this? I know for sure That they are using gentetics to try to produce suicide seeds that are incapable of maturing past one generation in order to make farmers dependent on them for the seeds they need to produce a crop. They already tried to do it here in India with the Neem tree that has grown here for thousands of years and if it was not for politically active scientists who really cared they would have "owned" the rights to the Neem tree and any seeds produced by it. Do you need me to explain the implications here? We're talking about gentetic slavery here people. If you take this far enough (and Im sure Ill be ridiculed for even presenting the idea because scientist are honorable, dignified people in search of truth and cannot be influenced by money and greed and they would never do something like this) they could make it a crime or charge you a tax for making love to your girlfriend or wife and discharging your seminal fluid into her because technically your "seed" aint yours partner, they own the patent on it and your using their intellectual property. At least Dr. Emoro's research is uplifting and hope-giving, but the research being done now by these biotech companies is down right evil or dare I say diabolic and at the very least sick (can a scientist think in these terms) and could easily be used to oppress all of us. It seems like we're talking about the wrong things here. Please direct me to the forum where we are discussing real, real hoaxes the kind that could spell destruction for human health and life as we know it because Dr. Emoto's work is not the hoax we need to be talking about.
Posted by Akhil  in  Gujarat, India  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  10:24 AM
(Cranky Media Guy, if this is you trolling I'll have your nuts for starters...)

Greg, I hear what you're saying (I think). However:

- Your post betrays a mistrust of science and scientists which is quite alarming - as well as a tendency to lump different scientific debates and issues together as though they are one. This latter is very worrying: the question of whether or mot Merck scientists were entirely forthright in the issue of side effects from Rofecoxib is unrelated to the question of any health impacts of GM foods, and both are wholly unrelated to veracity of evolution.

- Science is a methodology, and is the best one we have; scientists are people, and as such make mistakes (though one beautiful thing about he scientific process is that these are self-correcting in the long run*); and pharmaceutical companies are businesses. Yes, its obvious - but you are using the example of Vioxx to smear science itself. (Oh, and fwiw in this case it was Merck who withdrew the drug, suggesting that even if errors of judgement were made the company had sufficient integrity to back down in the face of the evidence in the end - though how far that was to avoid litigation is hard to know).

- Scientific knowledge can, in the main, be trusted: experiments can be flawed, even faked, and interpretations can be wrong, but ultimately when we say 'ok, show us the money' the data there for us to see. Say we hear of something that really boggles the mind - identifying the sequences of genes, for example. We can say 'oh yeah? Prove it!' and scientists can actually show us how they sequence genes (you want any textbooks?).

- As to how evolution is taught: evolution is a theory; there is also no evidence whatsoever to suggest that it is wrong. With evolution, it's a question of ever-increasing understanding of mechanisms - there simply is no valid alternative theory (bearing in mind the definition of theory above).

Creation? OK: sure God (or some other 'intelligent designer') may have created life which behaves exactly as though it had evolved and a world which behaves as though it were entirely naturalistic. However, as a hypothesis this cannot be tested, and in terms of testable predictions (or anything practical, actuially) it is valueless: as such, it is not valid science.

How would you want evolution taught? Would you have meteorology taught the same way (intelligent weatherworkers)? Astronomy? Physics? We teach the most robust theories in science as fact because they describe the world as it really is.

*By 'self-correcting' I mean that the processes of peer review and peer testing mean that errors made by individual scientists tend not to last: indeed, your own example of Rofecoxib is pertinent here - is was scientists who identified the risks, through clinical studies (notably the VIGOR study) which made use of the scientific method.
Posted by outeast  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  11:07 AM
---- Later ----

OK, I've just seen your newest post. Yikes.

First, I agree that there are ethical issues (currently being explored) in the areas of genetics and bioengineering. However, you're spouting a combination of conspiracy wackiness, urban myth, misrepresented fact, and the odd kernel of accuracy in there too.

Are the big GM corporations unethical? Almost certainly they are not more so than any other large corporation (take an anticapitalist stance if you like: don't pretend that's about the science, though). Yes, Monsanto among others forbid those who use their improved crops from keeping seed reserves. They are doing so for an economic reason, of course: it costs literally billions to develop such crops and they need a return on that. But think about it - firstly, if repurchasing an improved (pest-resistant, say) wheat every year provesless economical than farming a normal wheat and reserving a seed crop, farmers simply will not buy it; standard wheat will still be available. Secondly, by allowing a more efficient use of farmland per-acre yields will rise, slowing the continuing destruction of fallow land. (Note: though terminator gene technology is being explored it has not been used in any commercial crop; additionally, one of the principal reasons for exploring terminator genes is fos environmental protection - if the crop is infertile the risk of viable crossbreeds ('superweeds') becomes negligible.)

As to lawsuits against organic farmers who are corrupting the genetics of GMO crops, I've never heard of such a thing. There was a lawsuit against a farmer called Schmeiser, who was accused of stealing Roundup-ready seed but who claimed the seed was spilled and accidentally grew on his land. In that case, however, the facts (as the court found them) were somewhat different: some Roundup-ready seeds were accidentally spilled on his property, so he sprayed 'a good three acres' of his non-GM fields with Roundup to isolate the Roundup-ready crops to use. That's theft.

Finally, patentability: in Europe at least the rules are quite strict (if maybe not a strict as they could be). However, you cannot patent plant or animal varieties. Details here - must rush, do the research yourself.

Cheers.
Posted by outeast  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  11:08 AM
Just saw this morning that Merck has a billion dollar fund set up to fight any lawsuits against Vioxx. Where's the integrity you speak of? If they were really that honorable as you say they would do right by the people they hurt. But youre right its a business and its all about the $$$$$$$. still not sure where integrity is involved because the truth of the matter is if they could make a few billion $$$$$$$ off their fake science, do their drug deals, kill people in the process and get away with it they would do it, no questions asked. Would you doubt that? And I'm not smearing science in the pure sense because in its pure sense its just like my 7th grade science teacher taught me and the way youve described it now twice. You know the whole scientific method and the noble pursuit of truth all that but a lot of what is passed off as "science" today has been corrupted by the Big Boyz and their corporate schemes so separating capitalism and pure science is not so simple. Scientific studies have to be paid for by somebody right? And how many noble and honorable scientists are out there these days? I really hope there are as many as you seem to think there are. Im not so sure that your very eloquent defense of Monsanto is convincing enough to make me trust them though and honestly would you feed their genetically modified foods, seeds and hormones to your children? If you would or do, that could be an interesting scientific study in itself? You know seeing if they turn out ok, Little room for error though dont you think? I mean your defense sounds like something right out of the mouths of their very high priced public relations consultant firm. Arent they they the ones who started injecting cows with rBGH? And I hope to God or Science or whatever you believe in that the integrity of the scientific method was used on that study before they started pumping gallons of that stuff into us. Youre right though Europeans seem to have more sense when it comes to patents, steroids and rBGH but here in the U.S. it's all open to patents whatever you want genes, species, hormones whatever? Its all legal here. But I digress, the main point is that it seems like some people here (maybe not yourself) talk about science the way some people talk about religion, accepting it with blind faith as the person i quoted above, but as you said its just as corruptable as the latter and the blind faith that some people put in it should be met with an equal amount of scepticism that is directed towards the former. I mean if we are going to be sceptics right, lets be equal opportunity sceptics. that sums it up.
Posted by greg  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  03:52 PM
outeast, you have my word that it isn't me trolling. In fact, I don't think I've posted anything to this thread at all (although I'd have to check on that).
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Apr 06, 2006  at  08:04 PM
smile

Didn't really think it was you, CMG... As to you (not) posting on this thread, if you didn't post the comment 7 or so posts up then someone is appropriating your moniker.

Anyway, to get on to more serious topics: why are we all talking in italics?

Greg, I am not making a passionate defense of either Monsanto or Merck, though it's true that I doubt they're as evil as you paint them. My 'defense' of Monsanto is simply an observation that in the specific instances cited the rumours are unsubstatiated; I daresay that, as with all large corporations, there are plenty of morally questionable activities: but this is in danger of turning into a poltical debate, since the issues here turn on the interplay between market forces and regulation...

Big pharma, certainly, does far more good than harm: without medical research on a scale that only big pharma is willing and able to fund we (that is, the human race) would be pretty fucked, frankly. It would be great to have that research funded by governments instead, of course, but they're rarely even willing to fund basic medical care let alone basic research:)

FWIW, I've no qualms about the healthiness of GM food and assume that I eat it all the time. I have yet to see or hear of any evidence of any health risks to GM foods, and in the absence of such see no reason not to trust it; what I know about genetics, too, makes me think there is little reason to expect so-called 'frankenfoods' to be unhealthy. I have my own concerns over GM crops, but these pertain to their potential environmental impact. Even here, though, I think that with proper regulation there is no cause for alarm. Again, ths brings the issue back into politics...

I'll add that any negative impacts of commercial research in terms of marketable products and market practices do not negate the value of the pure knowledge gained along the way. A corrupt source need not imply corrupted knowledge: and it is that knowledge we must master and teach to our children. This is in part for its own sake, and in part so we and they can spot when we're being hawked nonsense by charletans - from Ken Ham to Masaru Emoto.
Posted by outeast  on  Fri Apr 07, 2006  at  03:43 AM
outeast said:

"Didn't really think it was you, CMG... As to you (not) posting on this thread, if you didn't post the comment 7 or so posts up then someone is appropriating your moniker."

Gee, it would probably help if I either could remember what the hell I wrote here or just checked before I said I didn't write anything, huh?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Apr 07, 2006  at  05:55 AM
Hi All, Please tell me if this makes any sense: that everything from objects to thought is a pattern. That different sounds have different vibration patterns, the same patterns we expose eachother to on a daily basis. Patterns that we probably learned from nature to start with, in one way or form. (cause nature was here first). There's growth patterns,healing,creation and so on... destructive patterns too. So Dr. Emotos study seemed magical at first, but seems to make sense after thinking it through. And to think those patterns don't affect us, is ridiculous. Even if not directly physically, then via our subconscious, which we use to communicate more than we care to admit. And why not encourage people to think positively. Even if it was a complete fabrication, we all know that everyone benefits from beneficial patterns of mood. I encourage people to believe whatever they want. I don't say to not question, but people who are so adamant on either side, are just struggling with emotions of their own. Best Regards. Andre
Posted by Andre  in  Vancouver BC Canada  on  Fri Apr 07, 2006  at  06:47 PM
Andre said:

"Hi All, Please tell me if this makes any sense: that everything from objects to thought is a pattern."

Well, maybe. The thing is, though, that even if everything IS a pattern, it isn't necessarily a pattern that we're designed to recognize.

Just as a quick example off the top of my head, we can see light, right? We can't see all forms of light, though, like high-frequency ultraviolet. We're just not set up to perceive it.

Nor can we feel, see, hear or taste X-rays or radio waves. We ARE able, however, to prove that those things exist by the fact that we can utilize them. Believers tend to use the fact that there are things we can't perceive via our senses alone to "prove" that the thing(s) they espouse exist.

It don't work that way. If and when it can be proved, via demonstrable and repeatable means that water contains "messages," then it will become an accepted part of science and not before then. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen, though.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Apr 07, 2006  at  08:59 PM
Hmmm, we only recognize that unperceptable information when it's man made - patterns by us. But maybe your right and there's many other messages that we can't read, but perceive on a subconscious level: instinct. The rest doesn't affect us... Thank you for your insight.

PS:please have a sense of humor, hee hee, science is only scratching the surface, and EVERYTHING is a theory. Some of us are not trying to push merchandise, just playin with Ideas, which is where it all starts. smile LUV'N'HUGS!
Posted by Andre  in  Vancouver BC Canada  on  Fri Apr 07, 2006  at  09:21 PM
I guess this is the hoax web though, do you speak as a representative for the website? For all the hoax columns? Or do you just passionately feel against the water crystal theory? And then why such a passion? Arre you looking for hope too?
Posted by Andre  on  Fri Apr 07, 2006  at  09:33 PM
The only person who speaks as a representative of the website is Alex. The rest of us are just commenters (though a few people work as moderators).
Posted by outeast  on  Mon Apr 10, 2006  at  03:06 AM
I'm very much a skeptic with respect to the water crystal phenomenon, and with most other new-agey beliefs, which seem to me to be a product of people's deep yearning to believe in something...they want so badly to believe, that they will leap to the defense of an idea, along with many others, blinding themselves to a more objective view. Many of the ideas are also, in my opinion, a product of what I might call "schizotypy", a tendency for persons to experience whimsical mystical phenomena with degrees of delusional intensity...the propensity to schizotypy may be determined by an overactivity of dopamine in the brain, or perhaps by a particular structural design in the brain that manifests itself more severely in disease states such as schizophrenia. Schizotypy is probably an evolved and inherited trait that may go along with creativity, imagination, and a "spirituality" that might confer a survival advantage--spirituality perhaps being viewed as a neurotic defense against what one might see more objectively as the meaninglessness of the universe. Mind you, the opposite, so to speak, of "schizotypy" is all too frequent as well, perhaps the highly analytical, obsessive-compulsive, detail-oriented, and rigid style that one can find in some scientists and skeptics (though not usually in the most imaginative ones); a person with such a style can have difficulty with expressing or articulating emotional states, and may be excessively dismissive of a point of view that they see as too sentimental, emotional, vague, unorthodox, or unproveable.

Yet I think a few unambiguous observations are in order:
1) thoughts and emotions in the brain are at the very least a product of localized, dynamic chemical events within a complex neural strucure
2) all dynamic chemical events, such as those within the brain giving rise to thoughts and emotions, involve energetic movements of particles (i.e. neurotransmitters, molecules, atoms, etc.)
Posted by garth d  in  Canada  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  09:07 PM
3) all particles have a measurable gravitational effect on all others (however tiny these force might be). Other forces, such as electrostatic, etc. are present also, interactionally. Even the weak & strong nuclear forces could be argued to be present and non-zero at intermolecular or even astronomical scales, despite being extremely small.
4) While quantum-mechanical phenomena may be most significant at dimensions much smaller than the dimensions of a neuron, that does not render their effects nil at a larger scale...extremely small or insignificant does not mean zero. They can be assumed to be zero for the sake of calculations--and those calculations can lead to meaningful and accurate results with tangible applications--but they are not ACTUALLY zero.
5) Many distinctions in the world are a product of extremely small relative differences (e.g. a single gene differing by a few amino acids among thousands of other genes; a surface of the earth itself (the biosphere, crust, and atmosphere) which represents an incredibly small percentage of the earth's volume, yet is imperative for life; perhaps even at the big bang itself the slightest nuances in which the explosion unfolded led to the destinct unique evolution of the universe which permitted the earth to form the way it did)
6) following point #3, a distant star, or the thoughts of a person across from you (both being the products of dynamic systems of moving particles), literally do have effects on each individual and on each individual's thoughts -- it's just that the effects are extremely small, and presumably irrelevant, to other forces (such as the north wind, or the guy next to you pushing you on the bus, or this sentence you're reading).
7) So even in classical physics, the most ardent skeptic must admit that a person's thoughts have a physical effect -- through gravity among other forces -- on all other matter in the universe, including the thoughts of each other individual. And one has to admit that there ARE quantum mechanical events at the cellular level, and even at the interpersonal level, and at the scale of the whole universe -- it's just that the effects are very, very, very close to zero, especially compared to other effects.
Posted by garth d  in  Canada  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  09:07 PM
8) But maybe some of these small effects ARE relevant...particularly if there are many, many such small effects going on at the same time.
9) Whether they are relevant or not may not be measurable.
10) If we were to produce a perfect experimental model of the universe, we would need a computer that could have a representation in memory for each particle of the universe. Even in the most perfect computer, the memory bank itself would have to exceed the size of the universe. Which would be impossible. So it is impossible to model the universe completely, only make incomplete--and some might say artistic--manifestations or representations of it, with partial understanding.

And I think there is some beauty in that fact.

11) I think a healthy skepticism of hoaxes ought not to employ reflexive dismissiveness. Some empathy or even whimsical respect for those adhering to the hoax I think is in order. Occasionally the hoax can have some meaningful or poetic value even if no scientific merit. And occasionally, even if there is no scientific merit, it could lead the minds of scientists into a unique new direction of inquiry.

I understand many mystical beliefs to be psychological phenomena which are either a natural result of a person's temperament, or which may serve a purpose for the person that is valuable for them. Sometimes simple dismissal can cause such a person to be even more entrenched in their beliefs, and whatever positive or imaginative influence their beliefs had in the first place is lost. This reminds me of religious dogmas, where the fanatical zealots in a group gain power when the belief system as a whole is attacked from outside, and as a result the belief system itself becomes a rigid dogma, losing whatever poetic truth or wisdom it might have had...so I encourage a stance of "empathic skepticism" rather than reflexive dismissal.
Posted by garth d  in  Canada  on  Wed Apr 12, 2006  at  09:08 PM
I (sort of) get what you're saying, Garth; I'm not sure you're on very solid ground scientifically there but I think the point you wanted to make was more philosophical, right?

The only thing I'd say is that yes, there is a space for this kind of relativism in philosophy: an inaccurate view of the physical world may arguably have some kind of metaphysical value. However, if a belief is factually wrong then it's factually wrong: no amount of metaphysical virtue is going to make a false belief anything other than metaphorically true (as it were). There may be a 'poetry' to the idea of water having Emotoesque memory, but this doesn't make it in the least bit true!

Personally, I think there is enough poetry to be found in the real world without making up nonsense, and I find myself feeling that the people with the real paucity of imagination are those who insist in chasing after delusions. Pick up any textbook of molecular biology, or chemistry, or physics, or whatever branch of the sciences takes your fancy and if you can just get a grip of the language of the discipline you will find the richest thought mines - with plenty of philosophical meat to chew, if you'll excuse the mixed cliches...
Posted by outeast  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  03:22 AM
Well, I do think that most of this stuff you're criticizing, water crystals included, is wacky nonsense without what I consider to be much poetic value.

Yet I do think it is true that many scientists, and many skeptics, are embarrassed about poetics, or so embroiled in logical debate (correct as it may be) that their ability to appreciate poetics becomes quite limited. Many people I have worked with who are "alexithymic" are also excellent critics. Cynicism can be poisonous to one's quality of life. Sometimes I think it can be healthy to simply smile and nod...letting go of the need to debate. (Of course, that is not the point of this site!)

I don't think my science is on shaky ground. What may be on shaky ground is whether what I allude to is at all relevant or significant to the goings on in the universe. So the movements of molecules in the brain which produce a given thought do affect all other molecules in the universe, but the effect is most likely insignificant...yet we must not say it is "zero", else we contradict basic physical laws. Or unless we posit thoughts or consciousness to be mystical, which I consider a regressive stance.
Posted by garth d  in  Canada  on  Thu Apr 13, 2006  at  09:19 PM
Garth, I think the biggest reason we skeptics pick these things apart is because they are NOT merely harmless fantasies. A lot of this crap is peddled to people who are sick and haven't gotten relief from conventional medicine. That is simply detestable (and criminal).

Also, if things like this are NOT challenged, there is always the chance that they will become accepted by the public and even taught in schools. That, too, is unacceptable.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Apr 14, 2006  at  03:42 AM
Outeast:

So what's the verdict? Sounds like this Cranky Media Guy is down on the ideas in this book, but It seems to me that the message or "the science" if I dare call it that in this Hidden Messages in Water book supports our discussion of evolution in terms of the idea that we were taught in school that the inert chemicals, "that have no sensorial capabalities," as someone put it in this forum, in the ocean were struck by lightening or however the story goes and by some chance, random low-probability chain of events started forming cell walls around themselves, and by random chance developed nucleic acids making them capable of reproducing and a couple of billion years later, vuala we have complex organsims out of the utter chaotic chemical soup that existed in earth's ancient oceans. I mean doesn't the idea that perhaps the elements of nature, like water, are imbued with intelligence and consciousness lend more credence to the theory of the origin of life on earth? It sounds a little bit easier to swallow or at least understand for dummies like me than all that chaos theory crap. What do you think?
Posted by greg  in  new york  on  Thu Apr 20, 2006  at  09:00 AM
Let us consider intelligence or consciousness to be quantities which exist on a continuum. Certainly we can find examples in daily human experience, where one person may be more intelligent, or conscious, than another, based on clearly-defined criteria (e.g. an IQ test, a neurological exam, ability to compose a symphony, paint a picture, or write a novel, etc.).

The origin of intelligence or consciousness must be the brain...but the brain is simply a collection of atoms organized in a particular way. As brain tissue disappears, intelligence and consciousness diminish (as in strokes, Alzheimer's disease, etc.).

Why should one particular organizational style of atoms give rise to consciousness and intelligence, while other organizations do not? Do we not excessively aggrandize "brains" vs. "non-brains" or even create a spurious distinction?

Perhaps all interactions of atoms, particles, or energy, in any configuration, give rise to some sort of consciousness or intelligence...it's just that in the human brain these qualities are extremely "dense" or concentrated, also finely attuned to magnify and store various percepts in a temporal scale varying from less than a second to a hundred years.

So inanimate objects around us may be imbued with some form of consciousness or intelligence -- yet to claim that we can control water crystallization telepathically is magnifying this subtle principle into a giant hoax.
Posted by garth d  in  Canada  on  Mon Apr 24, 2006  at  07:51 PM
yes there are skeptics. and you have freewill to believe what you want to. in fantasies like in holy books and the media.
even scientist will tell you that we know only a very small percentage of what this world is all about and the experiements that they do can only be interpreted by what they already know. they are only observers. that's why they are always coming out with tests that contradict previous tests. in other words everything is a theory. but under first amendment rights everyone has the right to say what they think. if you think you can debunk emoto's theory then go ahead and do it, then publish your findings. putting something out of circulation just because you don't agree with it is a communist act, just like book burning. free speech.
he used high speed film because they generally melt while handling them, you have to get the picture before their gone.
as for most of the emails i read on this page, get some common sense and a little bit of education.
a favorite quote of mine. "a teacher's job isn't to teach, it's to open a closed mind." when you putting someone else down because you don't agree with them just makes you look uneducated.
Posted by shell  on  Sun May 07, 2006  at  11:31 PM
shell, your long posting basically reduces to the tired old "prove it's wrong" argument. Sorry, that dog won't hunt. It's up to Emoto to prove that his wacky theory is real. The way to do that is via SCIENCE and demonstrating that what he claims is reproducible. I doubt he can meet that standard.

Oh, by the way, why do you assume that the people here who question the "intelligent water" thing believe in "holy books?" I sure don't.

"a favorite quote of mine. "a teacher's job isn't to teach, it's to open a closed mind."

Uh, I'd say the job of a teacher is try to impart accurate information to people. Having an "open mind" shouldn't mean that you believe any silly-ass thing someone tells you, like, oh say, "intelligent water."
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon May 08, 2006  at  02:35 AM
Yet another poster whose mind is so open his brains fell out...
Posted by outeast  on  Tue May 09, 2006  at  03:34 AM
A teacher may have a role in passing along information, or perhaps even in "opening minds" but I think this is aggrandizement of the teaching process, implying that a student is a passive recipient of knowledge or wisdom transfer. This may be a recipe for an unimaginative thinker. Even then, most (but not all) great thinkers, in my opinion, have not been dependent on having "good" teachers or not.

I consider a good teacher to be a knowledgeable guide, who can admit his/her own shortcomings, who can try to establish rapport with students, who can show enthusiasm and love for the subject matter, and who can encourage and expect hard work.

The beauty of shell's post is that it doesn't really require a critical retort. In fact, I have to wonder if shell actually holds the opposite opinion of what he/she appears to state, and the post is an ironic and humourous way to make a point.
Posted by garth d  in  Canada  on  Wed May 10, 2006  at  05:02 PM
part 1
ok

this water thing has me bothered. I want to believe! and I see a lot of reasons why it could be so...

Metal has a memory. bend it once and it's weaker, its molecular bonds get changed - damaged?

Molecules do seem to form crystaline structures which vary according to their environment.

Our thoughts affects our physiological state. In fact they can make us sick. Atoms appear to respond to the affects of observation. Alot of what has been expressed here as scientific skeptism seems to be a simple lack of imagination at putting together some of the latest evidence about our world. If our thoughts can affect our physiological state it means that they affect matter. Again a lack of insight and imagination might lead one to conclude that our bodies are different from the world beyond them. Whatever the case those little quarks start playing up when we look at them.

Therefore its not so hard to see that our thoughts could translate as energetic frequencies into the physical things we do such as write a word. In fact from a pure scientific perspective it seems unlikely that they wouldnt. I know places that have bad vibes and other that have good vibes and so I bet do all of you.

to be continued
Posted by adrian  in  NZ  on  Thu Jun 15, 2006  at  12:17 AM
part 2

So essentially I am arguing that we dont understand the interconnectivity of our physical world although a pinch of intuition suggests that alot of "spiritual wisdom" is trying to explain this still hidden world.

Finally in favour, the natural world has a propensity for patterns. Patterns that are mysteriously repeated from snails to galaxies. Actually not so mysterious, these are forms arising from energy dynamics, the mystery is in why. But for our purposes we can say that nature forms patterns AND these patterns are pleasing to us. Why not? We are part of nature too, are we too intelligent to notice that what is beautiful to us might actually be our way of registering function? Our eyes in other words might just be meters of function? Makes you stop and consider how the urban environment makes you feel right?

Now it would be rash of me to jump swiftly to the idea that we dont know what about the urban envirnomnet makes us feel not as good as a natural one. Perhaps its the effect of that environment on the water in our bodies. Perhaps our consciousness is the water in us? Im sorry, of course we know thats not true because we know what consciousness is and what makes it occur and where the organ is that creates it dont we. NO WE DONT. Which is a real big problem for skeptics really isnt it cause really you guys shouldnt believe in consciousness.

And this love business. Again, stunted unimaginative intellects might think that love is a human construct. What if its a name for a state of being that is perhaps perfect health beyond the terms of health as we understand it?

Well I like the patterns the water makes. My feelings respond to them.

The problem? Too many charlatans riding the money wagon. Skeptics are right to be cautious. Where o where is the replicated evidence? Maybe we cant have perfect replication with this. Where at least are the other samples. You know do 20 batches of water and freeze them all under the same conditions and see if the crystals are the same. Thats whats bothering me?

Hope this was enlightening.

Love
(he he he)
Adrian
Posted by adrian  in  NZ  on  Thu Jun 15, 2006  at  12:18 AM
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