Sunday, February 05, 2006

Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Stop to Think 4

Book coverEoR continues his review of The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto.

Chapter Four tells how The World Will Change in but a Moment (echoing 1 Corinthians 52).

After informing us that having "feelings of gratitude" towards water can physically change that water, Emoto-san suggests an 'experiment'.
A game we'll call "cloud erasing." I want you to try to erase clouds using the power of your thoughts. On a partially clear day, look up at the sky and target just one cloud, maybe one not too large.

Of course, on overcast days psychic powers strangely seem to fail, as they also do for clouds that are "too large", or targetting more than one cloud.

Next, we are once again in the magic land of quantum mechanics, and how everyone knows quantum mechanics has proved psychic powers, magic water, vibrations etc etc.
In other words, within an individual - and even within a single cell - exists all the information of the universe. [...] So the changing of the entire world in a moment isn't just a fantasy.

No, it's also pseudoscientific gobbledegook.

According to the psychotic weltanschauung of Emoto-san, these things are easily detectable, particularly by his (always unspecified) Acme Vibration Detecting Machine Mark 1.
On the afternoon of the invasion of Iraq at the onset of the first Gulf War, I measured the vibration of the tap water in Tokyo, and found an unusually sharp increase in the values of vibrations. [...] You might ask, Is this really possible?

Actually, EoR has been asking that since page one.

Then there's the monk who chanted incantations and magically cleared a lake's muddy waters:
Of course, it did take some time after the incantation for the water to become clear.

But doesn't that contradict his World Changes in a Moment Principle? Or is it just an example of post hoc ergo propter hoc? Scientific procedure: Chant. Wait. Wait some more. More waiting. Water clears! Inference: direct causal connection between chanting and water! Amazed looks on all and sundry.

Emoto-san is obviously getting desperate now, as he calls to the mighty imprimatur of Rupert Sheldrake's morphic resonance.

There then follow 30 pages of rather beautiful photographs of water crystals, only marred by the bizarrely illogical commentary, such as the crystals exposed to Brazilian music:
Both crystals are in the shape of stars. They seem to be telling us that moving your body and singing in a loud voice serves to strengthen your immune system.

Wow! Crystals in the form of stars! I wonder if the True Believers will notice that every other crystal in the book also looks just like a star. Or will they be too dazzled by Emoto-san's revelations?

Chapter Five (hang on, we're nearly at the end) is A Smile That Fills the World. EoR wonders why all these alternatistas seem like they're quoting from the Little Book of Calm all the time. This chapter is mainly about Emoto-san's attempts to fleece the credulous. Sorry, spread the gospel that
The message of water is love and gratitude.

As news of his amazing discoveries spread (in "ripples", as he says) a growing tide of interest formed. Seminars were held. Magazine articles published. It seems a tsunami is inevitable. But it's not just EoR making the bad water puns,
I have begun to talk about a concept that has been floating around in my head for a long time. The concept is grand and unique - I want to create a research facility that is itself in the shape of a hexagonal water crystal. The laboratory for studying water crystals will be located at the center, and six other laboratories will be located around the center to study other subjects and fields of science. [...] Each of the labs will focus on 18 categories of research, for a total of 108.

Presumably, that means the central lab, studying the fundamental belief of his philosophy, won't be conducting any research, otherwise it will upset the delicate and possibly world-shattering numerological balance. Like all good alternative 'research', results are not hard to come by:
I have an image of the researchers gathering at the central cafeteria for discussion during their morning and midday meals, and in the evening announcing the results of their research.

Hang on, what happened to the central water-woo research lab? It's suddenly become a 'cafeteria'!

Emoto-san finally also slips in the required support from Einstein, arguing that the C in E=MC2 stands for consciousness.
There is no way of knowing if Einstein himself considered the possibility of C representing consciousness, but since everything in the universe is relative, you can't say that it is a mistake to see the formula in this new way.

Well, we could look at Einstein's published papers for a start to see what he thought about his formula. And yes, it's quite easy to say, and prove, that this E=Mconsciouness2 idea is a mistake. It's a mistake. It's wrong. It's deceitful. Emoto-san seems to also have a streak of paranoia:
It is also quite possible that [changes in water crystal formation] could someday be used to predict other forms of destruction, such as storms, floods, epidemics, and even the planning of a secret attack from a hostile country.

Emoto-san's Conclusion is a rambling diatribe about the terrible state of the world, and how we must all be purified and practise love and gratitude. It's the usual newage (post-religion) belief that somehow the body is impure and must be cleansed. There's more millenial angst (a little bit late, EoR thinks):
There is even scientific evidence that indicates that the earth was once covered in water. We cannot completely discount Noah and the great flood, and the tales of the civilization of Atlantis and the Mu continent lost to the sea. The saying that history repeats itself is ultimately true, and so even now there exists the risk that water will arrive from space and once again cover our planet.

EoR is rushing out to buy an umbrella right after finishing this post. But there is hope in water (or, at least, buying Emoto-san's books and attending his seminars):
It could be that the events we experience throughout our lives become memories recorded by water, which remain in our bodies, and may be what we call the soul.

The back of the book includes six pages of water related merchandising, such as the Water Crystal Oracle, "Words Purify Water" Water Bottles, Water Crystal Coasters, Water Crystal Stickers, DVDs, and Healing Music CDs, such as "Music for Your Health":
This recording has been used and recommended by doctors worldwide.

I wonder who they would be? Doctors of Homeopathy? Doctors of Naturopathy?

Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Stop to Think 1
Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Stop to Think 2
Water, Water Everywhere, Nor Any Stop to Think 3

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