Talk:Water memory

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This Homeopathy related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

Editorial notes

You've got to get online access to the whole's...disturbing...--PalMD-Ars longa, vita brevis 12:37, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

Its been published for free on a blog. I will find the link. tmtoulouse nettle 12:43, 20 August 2007 (CDT)
Here is the link to the whole issue, he got special permission to publish it all for open access. tmtoulouse nettle 12:45, 20 August 2007 (CDT)
Im having trouble deciding on format and detail level here.--PalMD-Ars longa, vita brevis 13:12, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

Oh, dear--I'll have to take a look at this in a bit. Sterileblah, blah, blah 13:15, 20 August 2007 (CDT)

Formating and details[edit]

I think we can do like a "claims of homeopaths" and have sub-headings for various weird explanations they have offered along with refutations. Then like a "general problems with water memory" type section sub headings like the thermodynamics, how regular drinking water would be so full of stuff by now, ect. Than maybe a summary section. tmtoulouse nettle 13:49, 20 August 2007 (CDT)


Anyone concur this should be silver? - David Gerard (talk) 12:25, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

No. I don't believe in any of this bunk but to me there is a glaring omission. Homeopathy does not just claims that water has a memory they say it needs succussion to imprint the memory. Now this is just as much bollocks but it does mean that many anti-homeopathy jibes are based on a straw man.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:00, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it is a silver thing, as the main article is gold, it doesn't need it, it's a supporting article type thing. While I agree with Lily's reasoning above, I have to say that the succussion procedure appears to be poorly defined and has slight variations. Mostly it seems to be there as an excuse for people rejecting tests of it by saying the succussion is wrong, like "it needs to be tapped this way not that way!" and while yes, it means quite a bit of it is straw man, it's only straw man because of the moving goal posts on the other end. Scarlet A.pngbomination 18:23, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
The strawman is being quoted out of context in regards to throwing elephants at the moving goalposts. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:21, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Francis.gif Scarlet A.pngbomination 20:14, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, no homeopath claims that mere dilution of a substance is required to make it a homeopathic medicine. So the 'memory of shit' thing is a strawman. If we seriously want to debunk something we should debunk what they say and not what we like to think they say.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but as I added to the succussion thing, the procedure is so poorly defined it's very plausible that water just sloshing around in sewage will be "remembering" the shit. Scarlet A.pngbomination 20:58, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Also, if you look into the history of it, and just think about it, diluting a cc of something in a liter of something works a lot better if you shake it up baby, now. The charlatans who say "you're doing it wrong" are just trying to ignore negative scientific test results. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:10, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Article ad-hominem[edit]

This a clasical example for pseudorefutation: "Mark Chu-Carroll of scienceblogs has a full refutation of the work at his site" No refuting the text of David Anick. Thus only opinion based in a priori arguments. In the coments of this site (site of Mark Chu), the coments y only opinions, based in similar conditions a this article: falacies ad-hominem, false analogies, etc. Over the article is based in poor referencies, only two: homeopathy, and David Anick. The other referencies that demonstrates evidences (no only mathematical models), brighting for your auscense. This site is similar a Quackometer: falacies ad-hominem, appeal authority, post hoc and ad-hoc, and staw man falacy. Not objetive, based in primacy premise "is a simple effect placebo". For the cite of Tim Michin is clear appeal false authority, Michin is a music, no scientist. In this case, the article is a buffon article. Note: The link for "pop science" no is rational argument, appeal to ad-misecordiam falacy. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Could you explain this a bit more clearly? Sam Tally-ho! 03:46, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I've always said that knowing the dog latin for the major logical fallacies doesn't mean you know how to actually use them. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:53, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Possible expansion[edit]

There has been plenty more research put into this after the Nature/Benveniste thing. See here. I mention this because this is what I was looking for in the hopes of linking to WOMBAT.--"Shut up, Brx." 00:09, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

"Tap water should be the most dangerous substance on the planet"[edit]

Further up, this article says that the idea is that succussion is supposed to remove all the bad side effects of a poison, retaining any good effects (I think the effect is that the water becomes an antidote?). This implies that, according to homeopathic beliefs, tap water would be very safe and beneficial to drink, after processing, not very poisonous. This invalidates that particular argument against homeopathy. Don't worry, there's still the much stronger argument of thermodynamics.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Charcoal nanoparticles[edit]

PacWalker rudely removed my contribution to the main article without bothering to give a reason. I take it that he saw my contribution as a defense of the homeopathic point of view. Apparently PacWalker didn't get it that my view point is the exact opposite. The quotation I included in the footnote was for me so hilariously funny that I had to laugh. I had hoped that the readers of RW would see the humor of it too. But PacWalker did not.

Let me spell out for him why the quotation is ridiculous. First and most important from a logical point of view, the new "explanation" of the activity of homeopathic medicines by nano particles of vegetable charcoal means that the idea of memory of water has become redundant, it is not needed anymore. Water memory can be stored in the museum of silly ideas on the same shelf as flat-earth, phlogiston, N-rays, and cold-fusion.

Secondly, charcoal is amorphous carbon (without diamond-, buckyball-, graphite-, graphene-, or other structure). PacWalker, being an educated person, knows of course that regular medicines consist of molecules that contain, besides carbon, sizable amounts of the elements hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. He will also know that not only chemical composition but also structure distinguishes different medicines. Since the softenon affair we know that even stereospecificity plays an important role in medicinal activity. All this information is gone when the molecules are degraded by shaking and diluting to nanoparticles consisting of only carbon. (For me, being a chemist, it is difficult to understand how shaking and diluting can break the strong chemical bonds in the original active ingredients, but that's another point). Charcoal particles being the active ingredient raises the immediate question: how can different homeopathic medicines treat different diseases? Is the size and concentration of the charcoal particles maybe the determining factor? In my opinion the ludicrous "explanation" by memory is replaced by another one that is equally meaningless.

As a final point: how was the presence of charcoal particles detected? The India Times says:

The highly diluted form of homeopathy medicine used as pain relief was put on silicon vapour and left for drying for a day.

Note that one needs to heat silicon to 2000-3000 degrees celsius to obtain a non-negligible amount of silicon vapor. At that temperature the medicine will not only dry, but completely decompose.

After I wrote the text above, I saw a note on my talk page by PacWalker stating that the India Times can hardly be seen as a reputable source. I agree with this, but homeopaths don't. This is why a put a reference to Citizendium in the footnote, where Ramanand Jhingade added the charcoal findings to the article "Memory of water" with as sole reference the India Times (this is how I knew about it in the first place). From Ramanand Jhingade's history at CZ we know that he considers India Times as a legitimate source.--P. Wormer (talk) 09:04, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

This appears to have been a case of me missing the joke and not more. Whoopsie... I blame MadmanJohnson, naturally. But more seriously, my snark level just isn't high enough. My bad. PacWalker 09:15, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
And just to be a total pedant... "For me, being a chemist, it is difficult to understand how shaking and diluting can break the strong chemical bonds in the original active ingredients, but that's another point." Well, if you shake it hard enough... not quite the same, but I'm feeling very lazy in making my jokes. PacWalker 09:21, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
I will restore the footnote to the India Times. The article is just too hilarious to be missed. By a two-year research (no less) the 220 year old riddle why "homeopathy works" is finally solved by "The homoeopathy practitioner Dr ES Rajendran, director of the Homoeopathic College Vinayaka Mission". The answer is: .... Charcoal! --P. Wormer (talk) 08:35, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Water has memory[edit]

It seems there is such a broad based misunderstanding of this subject that it is difficult to understand. Let's consider it this way. There is something called the law of the conservation of information. If water did not have memory this law would be violated. The memory does not take place on the molecular level, but rather of the quantum level, and thus would not be detectable by chemical analysis as this is not where it is taking place. — Unsigned, by: / talk

Yeah... I'm calling bullshit on that, since all you really did there was use the standard crank argument and attempt to make it unfalsifiable. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:31, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
Not sure why you would be rude. I looked at all the studies and the meta studies and the meta studies found only three actual studies that were properly carried out without bias.

Here is the link: I am neither a proponent, nor a detractor from homeopathy. I just want proper research carried out to know the truth. — Unsigned, by: / talk

Reasoning flaws.[edit]

The reasoning does not make sense. Let us look at many drugs found on the market today. LSD is effective at a dose of 100 micrograms, or less. If we took LSD and reduced it by one million times it would still be potent if 100 mg of water were ingested. Fentanyl is even more potent. Many plants are extremely poisonous and must be greatly diluted to be effective. While the idea of water that had no material infused into, but rather was mixed with water that did have something infused, may be stretching this too far, but not impossible. The reason why this is not impossible is the Hamiltonian of the wavefunction of the water must include all inputs that the water experienced, ie, the infusion, to satisfy the conservation of information. WE do not understand the properties of plants well enough to make the judgments this article claims. There is a vast store of chemicals that is not allowed past the blood brain barrier and many chemicals that are rejected through the action of mono amine oxidase. If the substance level is diluted enough it may be able bypass the rejection system and be absorbed into the system. We also know that the exact claim of homeopathy, that like poisons will make the body immune to the poisons, is the way that vaccines work. A small amount of live, or dead virus is injected into the body and this causes immunity to the substance. We can then define vaccines as a type of homeopathy. The claims made here are not supported by the actual research. Most of the studies have not been properly carried out, no matter what the popular press, such as Nature, claims. — Unsigned, by: / talk

No, that's not how that works. That's not how any of this works. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:01, 1 June 2018 (UTC)
PS:On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:01, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

Logical conclusion[edit]

You are drinking the 'ghosts' of the first life forms (however defined) and all the evil people who ever lived (as well as the good). Anna Livia (talk) 18:35, 1 June 2018 (UTC)

Can it be said[edit]

This argument does not hold water? Anna Livia (talk) 16:17, 13 December 2019 (UTC)