The memory of water is a REALITY

August 2nd, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, homeopathy | 44 Comments »

A special edition of “the journal previously known as the British Journal of Homeopathy” claims to have assembled a large body of data proving that water has a memory. By which they mean, of course, a memory of more than a few picoseconds, which can explain the effects of homeopathy sugar tablets (which have been shown in trials – let’s remember – to be no more effective than placebo sugar tablets).

This is an interesting claim for two reasons. Firstly, without wanting to be too trite, a man called James Randi has a million dollar prize on offer for anyone who can reliably demonstrate paranormal phenomena, and he has been clear that homeopathic claims fall under this banner, so hopefully we’ll be seeing some new applicants soon.

But secondly, it raises the issue of what I call “the hassle barrier”: in extremis, for the purposes of popular discourse, it is not necessary for homeopaths to prove their case. It is merely necessary for them to create walls of obfuscation, and superficially plausible technical documents that support their case, in order to keep the dream alive in the imaginations of both the media and their defenders.

This is a pattern seen also in the work of anti-EM campaigners, and anti-vaccine campaigners, and I am sure it will be reflected in any journalist’s coverage of this special issue. “It’s quite complicated,” you can hear them thinking already: “but it looks like the science is divided, golly, look at those long words and classy job titles… I can get something out of this…”

I’ve lost count of the quantity of material I’ve trawled through from these lobbies. Time and again you find that the references they use do not say what they say they say. They use technical terms in a way that is completely inaccurate. They distort, misrepresent, and most significantly cherry pick data. After a while, you have to say: enough, life is too short, I’ve wasted too much time; you are no longer reliable witnesses to the data; you are, to me, a dead voice.

But that would be wrong. It’s possible that there is some meaningful and interesting new data in here, albeit that it will have to be considered in the context of all the negative findings (and who could forget the joy of this Benveniste story). The joy is in the details. And that is what I would like to share with you. But I can’t.

To my mind, the phenomenon of “the hassle barrier” is facilitated by the inaccessibility of information, the fact that you cannot get access to published primary academic research – which is often funded by your tax money – unless you have an academic login, or pay a very high premium per article, which reflects all kinds of factors, but is clearly not tailored towards selling content to individual interested readers.

Because of this, I’ve written to the Elsevier press office, asking if they would mind if I reproduced the articles here. I’m proposing to give each one a separate post, so that people can read the work – in full – and then comment on each paper. I am sure that the authors would like to see their work more widely available and freely discussed, and I’m not proposing a shitfight. What makes this site interesting for me is that – alongside occasional outbursts of high comedy – the comments are often very insightful, and many of you are quite sharp (and eminent, I see from snooping on the registration details…)

What I’m hoping is that this might be like a kind of informal “journal club”. I say hoping, because in reality I suspect they’re going to say no, and the data will stay locked behind a pay wall forever, leaving only the media coverage for mortals without Athens logins.

For those in the secret club who are allowed to read academic papers, here’s the link to the special issue.

www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/14754916

The email to Elsevier is off. Fingers crossed. They have shown themselves to be rather good recently.

PRESS RELEASE:The Memory of Water is a Reality
New issue of Homeopathy journal explores water memory effects

Oxford, UK, 01 August 2007 – A special issue of the journal Homeopathy, journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy and published by Elsevier, on the “Memory of Water” brings together scientists from around the world for the first time to publish new data, reviews and discuss recent scientific work exploring the idea that water can display memory effects. The concept of memory of water is important to homeopathy because it offers a potential explanation of the mechanism of action of very high dilutions often used in homeopathy.

Guest editor Professor Martin Chaplin of the Department of Applied Science at London South Bank University, remarks: “There is strong evidence concerning many ways in which the mechanism of this ‘memory’ may come about. There are also mechanisms by which such solutions may possess effects on biological systems which substantially differ from plain water.”

The concept of the memory of water goes back to 1988 when the late Professor Jacques Benveniste published, in the international scientific journal Nature, claims that extremely high ‘ultramolecular’ dilutions of an antibody had effects in the human basophil degranulation test, a laboratory model of immune response. In other words, the water diluent ‘remembered’ the antibody long after it was gone. His findings were subsequently denounced as ‘pseudoscience’ and yet, despite the negative impact this had at the time, the idea has not gone away.

In this special issue of Homeopathy (www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/623042/description#description), scientists from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, USA as well as the UK present remarkably convergent views from groups using entirely different methods, indicating that large-scale structural effects can occur in liquid water, and can increase with time. Such effects might account for claims of memory of water effects.

Commenting on the special issue, Professor Chaplin said: “Science has a lot more to discover about such effects and how they might relate to homeopathy. It is unjustified to dismiss homeopathy, as some scientists do, just because we don’t have a full understanding of how it works.” In his overview he is critical of the “unscientific rhetoric” of some scientists who reject the memory of water concept “with a narrow view of the subject and without any examination or appreciation of the full body of evidence.”

Professor Chaplin and Dr Peter Fisher, editor-in-chief of the journal, agree that the current evidence brings us a step closer to providing an explanation for the claims made for homeopathy and that the memory of water, once considered a scientific heresy, is a reality. “These discoveries may have far reaching implications and more research is required,” comments Dr Fisher.

# # #

About Homeopathy
Homeopathy is the leading international journal of homeopathy, and the only journal dedicated to the topic indexed in Medline (www.sciencedirect.com/homp). It is the journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy (www.trusthomeopathy.org), and published by Elsevier.

About the Faculty of Homeopathy
The Faculty of Homeopathy was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1950 to provide education and
training in homeopathy for statutorily regulated healthcare professionals. The Faculty’s membership includes doctors, vets, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, podiatrists and a number of other healthcare professionals who are qualified in and practice homeopathy.

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier’s 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (www.sciencedirect.com/), MD Consult (www.mdconsult.com/), Scopus (www.info.scopus.com/), bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Elsevier (www.elsevier.com/) is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc (www.reedelsevier.com/), a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier’s ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).


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44 Responses



  1. Gimpy said,

    August 2, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    Sue Young has already blogged this Ben. She’s not accepting comments though.
    homeopathy.wildfalcon.com/archives/2007/08/01/the-memory-of-water-is-a-reality/

    Regarding the wider dissemination of papers couldn’t those of us with institutional access download the pdfs and post them on some website whose server sits in international waters so everybody can benefit? Stick one to the man and all that.

  2. Steve Senior said,

    August 2, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    www.trusthomeopathy.org

    Nice website title. Presumably www.notreallyacure.org was taken.

    “It is unjustified to dismiss homeopathy, as some scientists do, just because we don’t have a full understanding of how it works.”

    No, but it’s justified to dismiss it because it doesn’t work at all.

    Open access could be the single best thing for better public understanding of science.

  3. Andrew Taylor said,

    August 2, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    The issue’s editorial takes great pains to point out, of course, that the proof or disproof of water memory is not the same as a proof or disproof of homeopathy as a whole. Which is true, but is misses a very, very important point, which is that while proving water has a memory would not prove homeopathy works, proving water does not have a memory would prove homeopathy doesn’t work — because this is one of the key claims of homeopathy.

    Also, it criticises scientists for demanding a higher level of proof for claims that don’t fit with what it expects — the author, Chaplin, claims that this just serves to maintain a sort of scientific status quo, where ideas like the current thinking are accepted uncritically and ideas which are a bit radical are dismissed unless they have monumental amounts of evidence. David Hume’s quotation that “No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish” is important here: if your claim is far-fetched then a positive result is far more likely to be a statistical fluke than if your claim is probable, so a higher level of evidence is required to be convince people that it isn’t such a fluke. But sometimes, quantum theory being a case in point, that level of evidence exists and when that happens science accepts it and the status quo shifts.

    Of course, it would be lovely to have that level of proof for even the most mundane assertions, but if we expected that then nobody would ever get anything done. It’s a question of practicality.

  4. Mojo said,

    August 2, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Gimpy said, “Sue Young has already blogged this…”

    I wonder if she has access to the articles. She has appeared not to have read articles she’s cited in the past.

  5. physics bloke said,

    August 2, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    While scanning the aforementioned journal and its various articles, a thought ocurred to me: If, as homeopathy claims, miniscule (if any) amounts of the things that do us harm can cure many illnesses etc. etc. and water somehow has this amazing “memory” for the shapes of molecules/stuff that it has been in contact with…then why do i still get ill? For example i drink 2 or 3 litres of named brand mineral water from some spring in france somewhere that a horse has pissed in, why am i not immune to diseases of horse piss? Have I misunderstood the “science” behind this or what?

  6. kliddle said,

    August 2, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    My personal favourite “arguement” (I say arguement but its really just a causal claim as spurious as the ones homeopaths are want to make…) against homoeopathy and other alternative medicines is as follows…

    “Scotland has comparatively terrible health in world terms, countries such as Costa Rica improving better, Aberdeenshire has the highest comparative level of health in Scotland and the lowest sending of any NHS authority in the UK on “alternative medicine.”.

  7. thaumaturge said,

    August 2, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Perhaps this effect can explain how some believe that one can “bruise” a martini by shaking it too much? Water remembers, but alcohol never forgets!

  8. wilsontown said,

    August 2, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    Thaumaturge: I suppose that the amount of dissolved gasses from the atmosphere would vary with the amount you shake the cocktail. So if it exists, this ‘bruising’ would be a consequence of having too much dissolved gas in your drink. That is, it would be a real effect based on an actual existing solute, which is not the case in homeopathy…

  9. le canard noir said,

    August 2, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Homeopathy is such a fantastic benchmark for understanding quackery. It is always amazing to witness the levels of conviction involved, the pseudo-scientific speculations, the volume of bad research and the sheer number of believers, and all for something that is so obviously twaddle.

    The number of illogical and implausible steps required in the chain of homeopathic thinking is huge and yet, on the face of it, many intelligent people are utterly convinced, even when the state of hard evidence for any effect is pretty appalling. And the alternative explanation (a placebo effect induced by ritual) requires no new physics, chemistry and biology and just an understanding of human psychology.

    Whenever I am faced with slightly more plausible quackery, I remember just how much empty content and belief can be generated by absolutely nothing.

  10. wilsontown said,

    August 2, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Part of Chaplin’s argument is concerned with impurities in the solution. It’s entertaining.

    “The water used for dilution is not pure relative to the putative concentration of the ‘active’
    ingredient, with even the purest water considered grossly contaminated compared with the theoretical homeopathic dilution levels. This contamination may
    well have a major influence, and itself be influenced by the structuring in the water it encounters.”

    Which seems that suggest that a homeopath will have no control on what the solution is supposed to do, since the impurities are likely to have a major influence…

    ‘Homeopathy’ is apparently a peer-reviewed journal, but I wonder if the reviewers included any physical chemists?

  11. superburger said,

    August 2, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    “David Hume’s quotation that “No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish””

    think someone else paraphrased to

    ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof’

    key is, if you think that homeopathy is open to investigation by science, then the key question to ask most homeoapths is

    “what experiment(s) and result(s) would cause you to believe that effects of homeoapthy are that of placebo.”

  12. devout sceptic said,

    August 2, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    There was a cartoon by David Austin (if I remember rightly) in the New Scientist years ago in which a tea-lady at a conference on homeopathy was holding the sugar bowl and asking “One molecule or two for Mr. Benveniste”. Perhaps it should have been “Do you want your tea made with water which remembers or which has forgotten sugar?”
    Given that the which comes out of our taps has a component which comes from sewage treatment plants, I shudder to think what else it remembers.

  13. stever said,

    August 2, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    logins to read the papers for naughty unprincipled types who want free access to ‘knowledge’

    www.bugmenot.com/view/www.sciencedirect.com

  14. stever said,

    August 2, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    shame about the ‘until the end of september’ caveat

  15. maninalift said,

    August 2, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Ben: Great post. “The hassle barrier”, I am pleased that someone has given this a name. I had no idea how freeing it would feel to give it a name.

    I find it distressing that science is often characterized as being incapable of dealing with exactly those things for which is is necessary, uncertainty, comparing different ways of understanding a thing etc.

    On a similar point:

    “It is unjustified to dismiss homeopathy, as some scientists do, just because we don’t have a full understanding of how it works.”

    Scientists don’t do this. Name me a scientific theory or application thereof where it is believed we have a “full understanding” I don’t think there is a single one.

    Apart from the fact that Homeopathy doesn’t work at all the big issue that I see and one which has parallels in many other debates is: OK even if we say there is some uncertainty about the possibility that water may have a memory and there may be some sort of homoeopathic effect, there is certainly absolutely no reason for believing in the whole package, all of the stuff that a trained practitioner will need to know, which is based on exactly zero evidence.

    Gimpy: I like your suggestion (post #1) perhaps we can set up a sort of academic Pirate Bay.

  16. Tony Jackson said,

    August 2, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Ah yes, the Benveniste business, I remember it well! From that Nature News and Views comment:

    “Benveniste acknowledged that his experimental design may not have been “perfect”, but insisted (not for the first time) that the quality of his data was no worse than that of many papers published in Nature and other such journals”.

    Unfortunately, he has a point…..

  17. Dr Aust said,

    August 2, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    While Benveniste’s comment contains some truth, the other papers were probably not trying to prove something that would require us to, as the Physiological Society put it:

    “..abandon the entire molecular basis of chemistry”

    www.physoc.org/publications/pn/issuepdf/65/3.pdf

    (It always interest me that Lionel “entanglement” Milgrom, who features in the special issue and in a former life was a respectable porphyrin chemist, has been able to do this. Wonder what his “Road to Damascus” experience was?)

    Coming back to Benveniste’s comment, on the whole, scientific enquiry contains a semi-unofficial touch of Bayesian inference, i.e. to prove something which flies radically in the fact of all sorts of other accumulated evidence/observations you have to produce more “nailed down” data than if you are showing something that accords neatly with everything is already known.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_inference

  18. Ben Goldacre said,

    August 2, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    im serious, but there’s one really tedious drudgery job that needs to be done to journal club these articles, if there’s anyone out there who can be bothered? probably two hours of frustrating hassley computer nonsense with wordpress for anyone who knows a little bit about computers, ‘m just too stretched for the next few days, ben@badscience.net if you are mad enough to find that prospect attractive and want to help.

  19. Tatarize said,

    August 3, 2007 at 8:15 am

    I’m SOOOOOO sorry. You may have discovered that the entire ocean is made of urine. That’s my fault. I didn’t understand homeopathic medicine when I was four and went on a trip to the beach. I am very sorry for any inconvenience.

  20. Gimpy said,

    August 3, 2007 at 8:47 am

    24. I did something worse at the beach when I was four……………

  21. FlammableFlower said,

    August 3, 2007 at 9:46 am

    Re: Dr Aust – I was seriously saddened, and in fact embarrassed too, to see Milgrom is not only a Fellow of the RSC but also holds Chartered Chemist status (he must have got that before his conversion to homoeopathy…please let it be so….)

  22. coracle said,

    August 3, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Much as I’d like to debunk any of the articles in the issue, I don’t have the physics knowledge to do so. I’m ashamed.

  23. FlammableFlower said,

    August 3, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Ok, just read: The ‘Memory of Water’: an almost deciphered enigma. Dissipative structures in extremely dilute aqueous solutions. A few questions…in the ‘methods’ section at no point do they relate what their experimental procedures are. As far as I am aware an experimental paper should contain information to allow someone else in the field to carry out that work . There’s nothing on the analytical equipment used, how samples were prepared…in fact anything. How did they measure the pH, using what? Now sodium ions are released from glass, it’s frequently seen as an adduct for compounds analysed by mass spec, but how did they determine the impurity content? Did they prepare samples with specific impurity levels or did they just test various samples and hope? If prepared, then how? The list of questions is just astonishingly long. No graph had any indication of levels of error. They frequently quoted homoeopathic preparations being different from the standard impure samples, but were they significantly so? For some graphs it doesn’t even appear to be different. How did they store the samples (you get absorption of CO2 into water over time and so it’s going to change the properties (and even lower the pH))? They then throw in the Grotthaus hopping mechanism. Why? How does that relate to what they are measuring? It just shows that water is particularly good at transferring a proton from one molecule to another across large distances…I don’t follow what that has to do with their hypothesis.

  24. gnu said,

    August 3, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Re the V. Elia paper:

    Where do I start? I have no understanding of the physics and molecular dynamics they describe, but I do know how data should be presented.

    -The methods section does not describe the methods, nor cite a reference for where I could find the methods described.
    -The results section is non-existant, but results are given in the methods section, and in a bizzare section labelled “Ageing effects”.
    – The discussion is mixed in anywhere (I might be being fussy, but clear sections make it easy to read an evaluate).
    – Everywhere, they state that there are differences between what I assume are the controls and the homeopathic solutions, but don’t present any P values for this, or detail any statistical test. Significantly (pardon the pun), they don’t even state that they have statistically significant difference for any of their data. Nor is it possible to see what the separation of the data is like, as there are no error bars, no details of numbers of replicates are given. I hope they have done replicates…..
    -I’m confused by the sentance “…from the studies
    so far conducted, we cannot derive reproducible
    information concerning the influence of the different
    degrees of homeopathic dilution or the nature of
    the active principle (solute) on the measured physicochemical
    parameters”. Does this mean that all of their experiments gave non-reproducible results? In which case, you can’t publish this as a result.

    Overall, it is rubbish. Until they analyse and present their data properly, there is no way of knowing if they have found anything out. Personally, I don’t think they have.

  25. wilsontown said,

    August 3, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Yup, from reading the paper, it’s impossible to understand what Elia et al. have actually done. As a scientific document, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

    Similarly, the Rey paper looks interesting, but I can’t tell if the results given were reproducible. There is a statement that the results have been reproduced by another group, but the reference is to the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It doesn’t seem as though the author has tried to replicate the results himself.

    What I find a little bit worrying about all this is that Homeopathy looks like a proper journal: it is peer-reviewed, it is indexed by the Web of Science, it has that journal-like page layout. Perhaps it even has an impact factor (for what that’s worth, ie not much). If you don’t read the papers critically, this is going to seem like a perfect valid source of useful scientific information.

  26. gnu said,

    August 3, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    OK, characteristics that all the papers have in common are that:

    -everythingis presented in the wrong format, with no clear methods, results and discussion sections (minor points, I guess, but it would make everything so much clearer to understand).
    – None of the papers give details of the numbers of replicates they had for each experiement, nor give any indication of the scatter in the data (no error bars, no standard deviations).
    – No statistics are shown to demonstrate that anything significant is found in any of the data. Instead, we are always referred to poorly presented graphs with exhortations such as these: “It may be noted from Figure 3 that the absorption spectra for unsuccussed ethanol is significantly different from: (a) the succussed ethanol and (b) succussed homeopathic remedies, Nat mur and Nux vom.” (Rao et al). Note that “significatntly different” doesn’t appear to mean significant in any recognised statistical sense. Or we are told “The results for a given configuration
    of the measurement system have good reproducibility.” (Vybiral and Voracek).

    So for none of the papers is it possible to see if the data show anything at all. They may do; if the authors went back and analysed their data, we could find out.

    How does this stuff get published?

    and can I go home now?

  27. Dr Aust said,

    August 3, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    wilsontown wrote:

    What I find a little bit worrying about all this is that Homeopathy looks like a proper journal: it is peer-reviewed, it is indexed by the Web of Science, it has that journal-like page layout. Perhaps it even has an impact factor (for what that’s worth, ie not much). If you don’t read the papers critically, this is going to seem like a perfect valid source of useful scientific information.

    Quite so, wilsontown. The same is also true of other CAM journals like eCAM, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Therapy, etc etc ad nauseam.

    They look like science journals. But they’re not.

    They all boast about being peer-reviewed: see e.g.

    www.jnlcompmed.com.au/

    www.alternative-therapies.com/

    – and are, I suspect, listed on medline in part precisely because of this.

    But if the reviewers are all part of the same “circle of suspension of scepticism”, what price the peer review?

    We discussed this on a previous thread, if anyone can find the right one.

  28. Despard said,

    August 3, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    eduard,

    Assuming you don’t know: a journal club is usually a group meeting in a lab where a paper is discussed. In our lab they vary from “I read this paper and it’s given me an idea for an experiment” to “look at the major critical flaw in this study, let’s avoid it and make sure we do better.”

    Some academic journals accept journal club style mini-reviews of recent papers; the Journal of Neuroscience and Nature are two that I know of.

    Basically a journal club is a commentary, and you don’t have to worry about the copyright of the work you’re discussing. As long as you don’t post it in its entirety of course!

  29. le canard noir said,

    August 3, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Peer review is just that. If you are a deluded, dissembling idiot, then you can be expected to be reviewed by similar deluded dissembling, idiot.

  30. shpalman said,

    August 4, 2007 at 11:25 am

    I’ve written a bit about Milgrom’s pointless quantum nonsense contribution here: shpalman.livejournal.com/3264.html

  31. Dr Aust said,

    August 4, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Shpalman

    One of the rationales for having a journal club would be to “solidify” a place for reasoned on-the-science critiques of Junk Science like the one you wrote about QuantuMilgrom.

    At present, if the journal does what eCAM did with you and declines to put the critical comments on their “response thread” (and that’s if they have one at all), there is no formal place to put the rejoinders. Which leaves the parallel reality of the Journals of Nonscience unpunctured, at least to a casual observer.

  32. Dr Aust said,

    August 4, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    James wrote:

    I know you don’t do ad hom, Ben, but this:

    tinyurl.com/2g8uex

    On Sue Young’s site is really very amusing indeed. You are Lord Voldemort, apparently

    Hmm. Sue’s persecution mania is showing, methinks. Perhaps she had been partaking too freely of the kind of herbal preparations that some studies claim raise the odds of delusions.

    Anyway, she’s wrong on the Voldemort thing, purely on an anagram basis.

    As any Potter reader with too much time can work out, if you start with “Ben Michael Goldacre”, you cannot anagramatically end up with “I am Lord Voldemort”.

    The best I have been able to do so far is:

    “I am Lord Beechglance”

    – which has a pleasantly herbal feel, I think. Can anyone else do better?

  33. Gimpy said,

    August 4, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    A Herbal Comic Legend

  34. bhaji said,

    August 5, 2007 at 10:05 am

    I keep coming back to the thought that homeopaths are not postulating just that water has a memory but that it has a selective memory and that a homeopath has some ability to control the memory.

    Or that the human body is able to select between the multitude of memories that each drop must contain to be affected only by the intended memory and to be unaffected by all the other memories of the substances that the molecules in that drop of water have been in contact with (do I detect placebo?).

    In this case taking one homeopathic remedy would confer protection against those contacted substances, including beneficial ones such as antibiotics, vitamins, etc..

    New headline – Homeopathic Remedies Implicated in the Rise of Drug Resistant Pathogens.

    Or – Healthfood Supplement Manufacturers Support Homeopathic Remedies to Reduce Effectiveness of Vitamins and Increase Sales

  35. Robert Carnegie said,

    August 8, 2007 at 1:21 am

    Is anyone else having trouble reading comments on this article?? (Silly question…)

    This is how the page ends for me (Opera 9.21):

    Oxford, UK, 01 August 2007 – A special issue of the journal Homeopathyones such as antibiotics, vitamins, etc..

    New headline – Homeopathic Remedies Implicated in the Rise of Drug Resistant Pathogens.

    Or – Healthfood Supplement Manufacturers Support Homeopathic Remedies to Reduce Effectiveness of Vitamins and Increase Sales
    Post a Comment

  36. wilsontown said,

    August 9, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    I’ve skimmed through the papers, and written a bit about them here:

    hawk-handsaw.blogspot.com/2007/08/cracking-example-of-pseudojournal.html

    So, no evidence for water memory, then?

  37. Junkmonkey said,

    August 9, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Sorry to lower the tone (again)

    “Gimpy said,
    24. I did something worse at the beach when I was four……………”

    W C Fields refused to drink water on the grounds that: ‘fish fuck in it.’

    I may join him.

  38. Mojo said,

    August 9, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Further comment on the special edition here:

    www.nature.com/news/2007/070806/full/070806-6.html

  39. bazvic said,

    August 11, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    Re wilsontown’s observations

    On the subject of contamination. If you do the following:

    1) degas and filter some DI water (100ml or so) (use an 0.1 um filter)
    2) Measure the particulates at 2um or greater. You should get one or two per hundred ml.
    3) Put this water into a clean beaker and move the beaker from one side of a typical lab to the other (this is just expose the water for a short period of time to the environment)
    4) The particluates (at > 2um) will now be a few hundred per ml.

    These particulates are pollen, dead skin, dust etc. Just the the stuff used to “potentise” the homepathic “cure”.

    Unless you do all the preparation and handling under clean environments (no particles in the air) any remedy will be contaminated with allsorts as soon as it comes in contact with the air.

    The question then must be asked what happens to water’s memory once it comes in contact with the organic broth that is the human body.

    Why should the water remember only that what was intended by a person even though the same person adds (unknowingly) many other species to his potion.

    Either the homeopath can will some physical change in matter or it’s bollocks.

  40. wilsontown said,

    August 13, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    bazvic:

    Interestingly, one of the main threads in the special issue seems to be that critics of homeopathy are wrong when they say homeopathic remedies contain nothing but water. After all, the remedies contain all kinds of impurities too! How this makes them significantly different from, say, tap water is not explained…

  41. le canard noir said,

    August 14, 2007 at 8:13 am

    This blog entry by Philip Ball is worth reading:

    philipball.blogspot.com/2007/08/bad-memory-i-have-just-read-all-papers.html

    It contains some notable responses from Dana Ullman and Peter Fisher.

  42. facetcounter said,

    August 30, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    What’s suprising to me is how people dismiss the placebo effect. It’s already the single most miraculous cure out there, so much so that every single experiment designed to test human health has to START with the assumption that the placebo effect may well be more statistically effective in treating the condition studied than the substance being tested.

    What is the placebo effect? If thinking you are helping your body heal has that big of an effect in itself, does having even more conviction about an elaborately descriptive and appealing theory about why it works help it be more effective? How many lives does it save per year? If you look at homeopathy as an amplifier of the placebo effect there’s every reason to take it very seriously.

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  44. austro said,

    January 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    On the basis of seeing the Russian secret agenda on water project exploring the waters where Russian scientists demonstrating that water is a kind of responsiveness to their surroundings, and its vitality is influenced by external influences, I tried to repeat one of the experiments, which was shown in the document.
    After three months, I can say that water responds to its environment.

    This is my experience:
    memory-ofwater.blogspot.cz/

    The memory of water is a REALITY

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