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The Memory of Water: Homoeopathy and the Battle of Ideas in the New Science

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons Publishers (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722535341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722535349
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,793,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Schiff's account of the 'persecution' of Jacques Benveniste, the French scientist who produced strong experimental evidence that homeopathic dilutions can have significant biological effects, reveals that science, the great project of enlightenment and reason, has mutated into something similar to fundamentalist religion.
This religion of true science has its own high priests, taboos and holy dogmas. The high priests are the editors of scientific journals such as Nature, who self-righteously decide which of nature's phenomena can and cannot be admitted into scientific scripture. Consideration for scientific canonization of a phenomenon usually depends on compatability with dogma and tradition.
Benveniste's research, described in the first half of this book, did not meet this criterion. It challenged the dogma that living system can be reduced to the mechanical interaction of molecules, and it violated a scientific taboo by suggesting that homeopathy, that old heresy on the systematic ridicule of which whole sceptical careers have been built, might be legitimate after all. A historical embarrasement for scientific orthodoxy seemed imminent.
Beneveniste had to be discredited by any means necessary. The second half of Schiff's book is devoted to a detailed discussion of what these means were.
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The history of science is a history of new ideas against old ideas. "Official" scientists try by all means and forms to impede
the advancement of science. This has been so since the dawn of
times. Almost always a new idea only finds its place after the
present generation of scientists and dea and buried. Organizations seem to exist with the only purpose to work as a
gatekeeper deciding which ideas are acceptable to science an which are not.
Trough history, how many brilliant ideas have been turned down by established high priests of science? Hundreds. Some eventually mae their way to the light and filled of shame the censors who could not distinguish a new idea from quackery.
Even great minds may be victimized by arrogance and prepotency. Comes to mind Harrison's fight against the Royal Academy of Science in the chronograph/longitude issue when Newton himself (among other geniuses like Halley) shamefully barred Harrison from his well-deserved prize an pride.
This book is a MUST READ. If you ever suspected that established science may be working against your interests, rest assured it is. Read this book.
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Format: Paperback
"The Memory of Water" is not so much about homeopathy but rather about the possibility of water having the ability to store information in some way. The research of Jacques Benveniste was set up to look into this question. I hear you say : no problem sounds like a good idea since some people have said that this is possible, specifically those practising hemeopathy (and for that matter electronic acupuncture which is practised with electrodes and vials containing the active substances which are dissolved in water). Further it seems that science being a profession supposedly designed to investigate nature in all its forms should jump at the opportunity. Just the contrary occurred, Benveniste almost lost his job, he lost his funding, his labs were closed down and ridicule followed even though he had a long standing reputation as a diligent and exacting scientist. In other words the message was : don't study things which the greater scientific community considers taboo no matter how much evidence appears to demonstrate some phenomenon or even the benefits which might follow. Into this climate Schiff has written a book explaining the progress of both the research into the memory of water and the consequences suffered by Benveniste's and his co-workers from the scientific establishment.
The book starts by looking into the possibility that molecules can send information electromagnetically through water inside the cell. Certainly not a ridiculous possibility since electric potentials exist within the cell and as such so must electric and magnetic fields, this is not denied by conventional science but the possibility that electromagnetic signalling occurs, is.
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"Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self-evident" - Arthur Schopenhauer
The book' author Schiff worked in Benveniste's lab and documents successful replication work, as well as attempted replication work by others. The book is not written to support any particular conclusions about possible memory of water so much as to document events ensuing from publication of extraordinary data. The investigators are not drawing hard-and-fast scientific conclusions (no hint of Schopenhauer's third stage) as to the specific nature and mechanism of the apparent discoveries. So, it is not only inappropriate to ridicule those curious about the subject, but it is anti-scientific to be making ad hominem attacks when the investigators are proceeding in an erudite fashion, from what I can see by reading the book.
The situation of the apparently rational laboratory director Benveniste (p. 98 reports Science Citation Index records more than 1000 references to his work in the period 1986 - 1991, five times greater than the average number of citations among those 30 scientists who directed a laboratory belonging to the same section in INSERM as Benveniste) has been and is willing to risk his every career gain to continue the work. It is most unfortunate that easy attacks have been the scientific community's preferred method of response to this remarkable man's unusual claims.
The book is mainly a pleading to allow science to proceed as science ought to proceed, uncertainty and all. Schiff does not claim to know that Benveniste is correct in all his assertions.
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