A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Posts Tagged ‘Bohumil Vybíral’

The Memory of Water: Replies and Answers

Posted by apgaylard on January 17, 2008

While all answers are replies, not all replies are answers.”

Ta’Lon, Babylon 5: Point of No Return, script by J. Michael Straczynski.

The Memory of Water issue of the journal Homeopathy has provoked a number of critical responses, which the journal has now published.  Those authors whose work has been criticised have, quite rightly, responded.  So far, this is healthy: this is how science works.

However, most of the responses could be described by the observation: “not all replies are answers.”  Let’s take the replies to my two letters, for example.

The first is from Lionel Milgrom, the second is by Vybíral and Voráček.

The dangerous swan song of the straw man

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Posted in Logical Fallacies, Philosophy, The Memory of Water | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Homeopathy and the memory of water: memory or invention?

Posted by apgaylard on October 12, 2007

Carrying on with tidying up my comments on “The Memory of Water” issue of the journal Homeopathy I come to a paper that I actually looked forward to reading.  Vybíral and Voráček presented some interesting looking measurements on what they termed the autothixotropy of water.

Why was I interested?  A long time ago (final year undergraduate project no less!) I found thixotropic behaviour and hysteresis in samples of used engine oils taken from trains for condition monitoring purposes.  So I was interested to hear of this sort of rheological behaviour in water.

On reading the paper, I had two main concerns.  First, that the authors both assumed and asserted the existence of water “clusters” in the absence of evidence [The “sceptical” paper in the issue by José Teixeira actually says that: “There are no water clusters in pure liquid water, but only density fluctuations.”] Second, that they did not systematically explore what was actually causing this interesting effect.

Quite what water getting more or less “sticky” with time and shear has to do with homeopathy or a memory mechanism, I don’t know.  Anyway, here is the letter I submitted to Homeopathy.

Vybíral, B. and Voráček, P. “Long term structural effects in water: autothixotropy of water and its hysteresis” Homeopathy, Volume 96, Issue 3, July 2007, Pages 183-188.

Going Beyond the Evidence

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