Is water memory fiction or science
What does water remember?
Jacques Benveniste's research on "water memory"
The matter is complicated and cannot be deepened here: it is about "water memory", the property of water to "remember" certain molecules with which it has come into contact. This (alleged) property is essential for the dilution mixtures of homeopathic medicines. The French researcher Jacques Benveniste carried out laboratory experiments in the 1980s that proved this property. His colleagues could not repeat these experiments and called Benveniste a fraud; Benveniste says his colleagues slouched on the retries. Now in the scientific world he is seen as a kind of mixture of lunatic and deceiver.
Benveniste's colleague Michel Schiff wrote under the title The memory of the water written down and explained the case. It is less about whether Benveniste is right or not (he thinks yes, but he cannot explain why), but how the scientific community deals with differing opinions and data. This has a theoretical part (how many additional modifications can a theory take before it is better to find a new one?) And a practical part, which is about power, stubbornness, group behavior and research funding.
Apart from the fact that Benveniste's work is documented very precisely (and leaves a certain perplexity; if he really is not a charlatan, some of the biochemical and physical worldviews are completely wrong), the book leads the very necessary dispute about whether always first a generation of researchers must die out before a new knowledge can assert itself. And why a professional group is so firmly attached to the belief in its own infallibility - when it once developed out of the fight against dogmas.
On the other hand, it is the case that no one has a theory for what Benveniste claims to have observed; not even himself, which speaks most for him.
In addition, you can read the anecdotes by the journalist Luc Bürgin: in Errors of science it is about the opposite, namely about famous discoveries and inventions, some of which took decades to prevail against the doctrinal opinion. However, Bürgin's book is frightening superficiality (the fact that Mendel "mendeled" some of his results himself does not occur in his work), which he tries to cover up with a powerful expression ("scandal!").
Luc Bürgin: Errors of Science. Misunderstood geniuses, inventor's bad luck and capital misjudgments Herbig 1997, 254 pp. 39.90 DM
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