When I first heard of Dr. Emoto’s amazing work with water crystals through his book “The Hidden Messages in Water” I was absolutely stunned. I then saw the movie “What the Bleep do we Know” and became thoroughly intrigued. I set off to conduct a research project in the chemistry department of Castleton College in Vermont to see if I could find sufficient evidence and support for Dr. Emoto’s claims to merit conducting a deeper research project to try to reproduce his work. The idea was to uncover as much information about his methods and procedures as possible to determine if is would actually be feasible to study the effect of energy healing, such as Reiki, on the formation of water crystals. I was so excited to think that I might be the first person in the world to verify his work!… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Pseudoscience
I came across the following post in an occult group on Facebook: “Only God could have created a 9 number system that can encompass infinity with a zero as the emanation [Chaos].” Just the kind of quirky and weird statement I just can’t pass up. “I’ll bite,” I commented.
I was led by the poster to a number of videos featuring Marko Rodin, who discovered what he termed, “Vortex Mathematics.” While attempting to decode the greatest name of God in the Bahá’í faith, using Abjad numerical notation, he created a symbol consisting of the nine arabic numerals inscribed upon a circle. He called this the “symbol of enlightenment” (shown at right) which he has also referred to as “the mathematical thumbprint of God.”
For me, understanding math is like trying to walk up a grassy hill in the rain with flip flops that are two sizes too large.… Read the rest
Via the Public Domain Review, Vaught’s Practical Character Reader contains everything you need to know about head shapes and what they reveal about husband suitability, occult tendencies, mystic faith, likelihood of committing murder, and more:
Illustrations from Vaught’s Practical Character Reader, a book on phrenology by L. A. Vaught published in 1902.
… Read the rest
In the history of biology, preformationism (or preformism) is the idea that organisms develop from miniature versions of themselves. Instead of assembly from parts, preformationists believe that the form of living things exist, in real terms, prior to their development. It suggests that all organisms were created at the same time, and that succeeding generations grow from homunculi that have existed since the beginning of creation.
Pythagoras is one of the earliest thinkers credited with ideas about the origin of form in the biological production of offspring. It is said that he originated “spermism”, the doctrine that fathers contribute the essential characteristics of their offspring while mothers contribute only a material substrate.
The groundbreaking scientific insights provided by Galileo and Descartes seemed to support preformationism.
"Then one day, like Archimedes of old, it happened. In a physiology textbook there it was: fat oxidizes into carbon dioxide. Wait a second, I read that line again: fat oxidizes into carbon dioxide. No way! So you’re telling me that all I have to do is breathe to lose weight. I can’t believe no one has ever told me this before. Fat leaves my body through breathing??"
In this technological and mechanistic age that good old fashioned ghost stories don’t stand a chance of being accepted as plausible unless you sprinkle a little pseudoscience into the mix. This generation of flim-flam artists may be just stumbling onto this fact, but fiction writers (as well as some of the earliest ghost-hunters) have known it for years. The protagonists of Bram Stoker’s Dracula bring modern technology to their fight against the eponymous vampire, as do the heroes (and villains) of several H.P. Lovecraft tales such as “The Shunned House”, “From Beyond”. Even Arthur Machen utilized scientific jargon in his classic story of the supernatural (or preternatural?) “The Great God Pan.”
An interesting study from LiveScience shows that a little techno-babble can go a long way in convincing people of the plausibility of supernatural experiences:
… Read the rest
Fans of paranormal reality TV shows like “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Adventures” are treated to an array of technical jargon and references to fancy instruments — ion generators, electromagnetic field detectors and video goggles with built-in speech-synthesizers that allegedly can sense spirits.
Zach Musgrave writes at sleptlate.org:
… Read the rest
“Scientific racism” is a slur in the academy, roughly analogous to calling something “psuedoscientific” in the mainstream scientific community. Largely because there are observed differences in the results of IQ tests of different races, it is politically correct in many academic circles to refer to general intelligence under the euphemism “whatever it is that IQ tests measure.”
And, in fact, it’s solid science that performance on such tests is strongly influenced by individuals’ own perceptions of their ability. Blacks taking a test that is presented as a “laboratory exercise” outperform those taking the same test presented as an exam. In Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely relates an even more intriguing experimental result. Researchers seeking to understand the effect that stereotypes have on math test performance decided to see if they could study the interaction between two conflicting stereotypes: that Asians are good at math; and that women are bad at it.
… Read the rest
It came away in my hands. The dog ate it. Honest. When Ryu Matsumoto, Japan’s minister for reconstruction, resigned after just a week in the job, one of the excuses he offered was almost as lame. He said he had the wrong blood type — B — which made him a more abrasive personality and accounted for his less-than-tactful remarks about some areas of Japan badly affected by the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.
Most people in the UK haven’t a clue what blood type and aren’t much bothered either way. But in Japan there is a widely held belief that blood groups can predict personality, temperament and compatibility with other people; so much so that many newspapers, magazines and TV shows carry daily blood horoscopes.
The ever lucid Phil Plait writes on Bad Astronomy:
… Read the rest
Japan suffered a massive earthquake last night, measuring nearly magnitude 9. This is one of the largest quakes in its history, causing widespread and severe damage. Before I say anything else, I’m greatly saddened by the loss of life in Japan, and I’ll be donating to disaster relief organizations to help them get in there and do what they can to give aid to those in need.
While there isn’t much I can do to directly help the situation in Japan, I do hope I can help mitigate the panic and worry that can happen due to people blaming this earthquake on the so-called “supermoon” — a date when the Moon is especially close to the Earth at the same time it’s full. So let me be extremely clear:
Despite what a lot of people are saying, there is no way this earthquake was caused by the Moon.
On Friday night the “Journal of Cosmology” published an article entitled “Fossils of Cyanobacteria in CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites: Implications to Life on Comets, Europa, and Enceladus,” attributed to one Richard B. Hoover of the NASA/Marshall SFC , claiming such a discovery.
Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence, which is nowhere to be found in the paper. While I am trained in and have worked in scientific fields, I am admittedly not a scientist, so I refer you to the blogs of PZ Myers , David Dobbs , and Rosie Redfield  for detailed analysis/straight-up debunking. In sum, per Redfield: “Executive Summary: Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here.”
There’s nothing wrong with alternative theories – and certainly nothing wrong with leveling a critique at the scientific establishment – provided that they are supported by data and arguments that meet the epistemic criteria for scientificity.… Read the rest