SEPARATING SCIENCE FROM THE PARANORMAL

In conventional science, there are four forces operating in the universe whereby we can attempt to explain all observable phenomena. These forces are:

(1) strong nuclear force

(2) weak nuclear force

(3) electromagnetic force

(4) gravitational force

The energy associated with any one of these four forces is just the integral of the particular force with distance.

For some time now, many investigators around the world have concluded that there are other energies at play, creating other phenomena and that these energies cannot be explained by any or all of the four forces identified above. "Subtle energies" are thus those energies which many scientists and investigators have identified as being able to create phenomena which fall outside of the abilities of the four forces listed above.

This demarcation from conventional, scientific observation of the above forces and "other forces" or "energies" is precisely the dividing line between processes which we will discuss now.

Therefore, the very first thing which is required when studying functional or altered water technologies is to distinguish between the verifiable sciences associated with the four universal forces listed above and energies and phenomenas related to the "subtle energy" approach to altering or structuring water.

Today, reputable scientists who produce functional water products strive to produce products which can demonstrate measurable qualitative and quantitative effects on the (human) user. The "altering" processes thus rely on physical and chemical forces or entities which science can "put their hands around", i.e. the four forces listed above.

These forces are measurable by conventional scientific instruments and accepted testing protocols. These forces may take the form of electromagnetic fields or physical apparatus which change the composition of water or other means.

However, in each and every case, the applied electromagnetic fields or other physical phenomena can be repeatedly applied and results observed or measured, at different times and places, and by different individuals, with great degrees of accuracy and consistency.

On the other hand, those water "altering" techniques which employ "subtle energy" concepts are designed to produce effects whose characteristics are difficult if not impossible to measure(and verify) using standard scientific instrumentation techniques and accepted testing protocols.

A variety of other terminology is also interpreted as "subtle energy", including scalar waves, chi, orgone, prana, tachyon and etheric energy. Some subtle energy adherents also include such "sacred geometry" phenomena as vortexial water flow as producing special subtle energy effects in water.

It is important to dwell on this distinction for a moment.

Apologists for the "subtle energy" concept are quick to point out that while subtle energies are difficult to understand and measure(and that "orthodox scientists simply don't "get it" yet"), a similar situation existed 250 years ago for classic electromagnetism. 250 years ago, the effects of electromagnetism could be seen, but not measured. Science advanced, and so did instrumentation. So today, we can not only observe electromagnetic effects but measure them as well.

The analogy is made by subtle energy adherents that at present we simply do not have instrumentation with adequate sensitivity to make deterministic measurements of these subtle energies.

Unfortunately, the explanation the subtle energy apologists offer is not quite that simple. With very few exceptions, classical physicists have not been able to demonstrate and prove and thus do not believe such "non-electromagnetic" phenomena exist, since the proponents tend to lean on relatively unknown, unmeasurable and unproven biophysical phenomena in humans and other objects.

Most scientists familiar with subtle energy phenomena agree that these energies are not directly observable becaue they function at what is called a "vacuum" or "negative energy level" and can only be converted to observable data or statistics by an intermediate human observer. Enter the metaphysical or clairvoiant aspect of this problem.

Unfortunately, for the subtle energy apologists, their cause may have been stuck a serious blow by revelations in the San Francisco Chronicle(7/23/99) that a Livermore Laboratories scientist researching the relationship(s) between electromagnetic(EM) fields and cellular responsiveness apparently has been fabricating information which has been used to scientifically link these two areas.

Falsification of this type of data makes it more difficult for peer organizations (medical and otherwise) to begin accepting this biomagnetic relationship as sound science.

What makes this case even more important is the fact that if other scientists and Government watchdog agencies which provided this scientist with research funds could not duplicate the scientist's results, when very strong electromagnetic fields were involved in the above example(high voltage power lines)---what chance is there that far weaker EM fields(distant magnetic fields from space, brain waves, crystals, fetishes and other objects) being studied by the subtle energy proponents are measurable or have any cellular effects?

As intimated above, with few exceptions, most scientists and water "alterers" involved in subtle energy research and applications are deeply involved in the occult, metaphysical, New Age, extra-terrestrial and other psychic and paranormal phenomena involving crystals, pyramids and a myriad of other devices and fetishes which they consider to have the "power" to provide special energy sources or mechanisms for receiving, retransmitting or focusing these special energies.

The distinction between true science and the metaphysical is being blurred by those involved in subtle energy to the point where I believe many dedicated and intellectually honest scientists, technology investors, and lastly the public are being misled. Those with metaphysical interests tend to rely more on intuition and "channeled information" from disincarnate spirits than on solid science.

For example, most subtle energy adherents believe that various types of crystals have self-generating "energies" which when placed near the body or other objects will influence the biochemistry or neurological functions of that body. They readily admit that subtle energy is a metaphysical phenomena. Most western(Christian) religious viewpoints on this subject clearly place these types of phenomena on the short list of things to be avoided.

Crystals are known(in conventional electrical engineering circles) to possess specific characteristics with respect to resonance and frequency generation, when stimulated externally by physical or electrical sources. To claim that crystals have any significant, self-generating energy capabilities is not only unproven but strains the academic and intellectual credibility of any scientist who tends to promote such phenomena.

Therefore, in the following discussion, we will set aside those altered water concepts which utilize so-called "subtle energy" techniques and this section will focus on those chemical and physical alterations which have quantifiable scientific parameters and which can and have proven to provide measurable effects on the human body when consumed as a beverage or produce other desirable effects on plants, animals or humans.

Most importantly, the Food and Drug Association has taken a special interest in these types of products, since considerable claims have and are continuing to be made by various investigators, technologists and producers of such products. The FDA's activities to restrict outrageous claims(and many indeed have been outrageous) are due for the most part from those who have made those outrageous and non-verifiable claims in the first place.

Other, bona-fide investigators, scientists and producers have been discouraged in some cases and in other situations simply have gone underground or taken their products outside of the USA for marketing.

The last ten years have seen a remarkable reversal of this functional water marketplace: from conditions where tens of millions of dollars have been invested in public companies promoting functional waters(and which ultimately flopped) to the current day where the FDA is assuming heavy handed watchdog activities for the reasons cited above.

Legitimate and useful products have vanished from many research areas, due in part to the reasons cited above but also due to lack of investor interest due to the failures of thousands of IPO's for a wide range of small companies, functional water activities included.

The initial excitement about the future of functional waters has thus faded somewhat...and awaits the next wave of investor interest as well as entrepreneurial activity in these areas.

Another significant factor which diminished the potential of these functional waters was the almost total lack of peer-reviewed technical reports and laboratory results which would have provided a strong basis for support in the general consumer areas as well as both alternative and orthodox medicine.

Most developers of functional waters tended to be highly specialized technologists or wanna-be scientists and believed that the product could float into the marketplace on essentially anecdotal evidence. The extensive, and expensive in vivo laboratory tests necessary to verify cellular responsiveness were either overlooked or were deemed too expensive and time-consuming for the eager entrepreneurs of that era.

ENTERING THE "NANO-WORLD" OF FUNCTIONAL/ALTERED WATER (smaller is better)

Biochemists, physicists, neurobiological specialists and other legitimate scientists who have worked with functional water have determined that in order for such waters to be effective in the human body(or animals or plants), the water altering process must be done with extremely small physical entities---entities on the order of nanometer sizes.

A nanometer is 9 orders of magnitude smaller than one meter(roughly three feet). These extremely small dimensions are necessary because any materials which can pass through cell membranes into the interior of the cell(where all the action is, so to speak) must have nanometer dimensions.

Water altering technologies which do not use such "nanometer processes" will by nature be less effective than those which do, primarily because any alterations or physical entities embodied in those alterations simply will not permeate the cellular membrane and therefore remain essentially effective in any cellular activity.

Conventional drugs used by the orthodox medical community normally have molecular dimensions far larger than nanometers, thus preventing their effective passage into the body's cells. As a result, excessive amounts of drugs are required to allow even small amounts to permeate cells, thus resulting in "side effects" due to the large amount of unused or excess drugs floating around in the body fluids.

What each category of altered/structured water has in common is an attempt to influence plant, animal or human cellular activities in some fashion, using various combinations of physical(and chemical) alterations to the basic water molecule.

For example, "Free Radicals" are a byword in the sports and health industries today. The first four processes listed above claim to "solve the free radical problem". (review free radical basics)

Solving this free radical "problem" via beverages or oral tablets(pills) can be a very lucrative venture if the process can be shown to be more effective than conventional anti-oxidant processes while remaining non toxic in the dosages possible with these new techniques.

Additionally, the process of nutrient "absorption" is constantly bandied about in nutritional circles, with a wide variety of processes being proposed to increase the efficiency of nutrient(or pharmaceutical) absorption by cells. Many of the above altered/structured water categories claim enhanced absorption of such materials when that specific water is used.

All of the above techniques utilize some variation of electromagnetic energy stimulation to reduce surface tension and thus improve absorption. The process is simple to replicate and surface tension(and hence absorption efficiency and Zeta Potential) is easy to measure using conventional and readily available instrumentation.

Although various researchers carefully conceal the exact, specific processes and procedures which they use to achieve particular altered/structured water characteristics, there are only a handful of known techniques by which various physical characteristics of water can be changed or manipulated.

The extent and in what combination these known technologies are employed determines in large part the differences one observes between various altered/structured water methodologies.

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