Double Helix Water: More Magic Water Quackery

The beauty of pseudoscience as a marketing tool is that it is, for those not trained in the particular branch of real science being mimicked, almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Of course, many of the warning signs of quackery are often present, especially claims of revolutions or “paradigm shifts” that overturn well-established science, claims of a single cause or cure for many unrelated diseases, the presence of the Quack Miranda Warning, and naturally lots of testimonials with a conspicuous absence of real evidence published in legitimate scientific journals. But it is easy to see why the use (misuse, really) of scientific terminology, often by people with legitimate (though irrelevant) scientific degrees, can be quite convincing even if the idea or product being marketed is completely bogus.

Our latest example has all this and much, much more! Meet the revolution in veterinary medicine that is Double Helix Water! What is Double Helix Water? Here’s what the “inventors” and promoters of this product say:

Double Helix Water is solely ultra-pure H2O but we believe it is H2O in a hitherto undiscovered fundamental “phase”; not liquid, ice or vapor “phase” but a molecular solid phase even at room temperatures.…this “phase” may be the key to many of the body’s inherent healing properties thus explaining many of the mysteries of alternative health practices. They demonstrate through rigorous scientific experimentation that water can form a solid particle at room temperature. The discovery of this particle then, begins to unravel the mystery behind the differences between allopathic and homeopathic medicine as we know it.

Ahhh, so there is a connection with homeopathy, eh? Well, sort of. the promoters certainly claim their “discovery” explains the powerful effects of homeopathy (which they seem to take as a given, despite the strong, consistent evidence that homeopathy is no better than a placebo). However, there is no talk of the Law of Similars, Dilution and Sucussion, which are core theoretical concepts behind orthodox homeopathy, so one wonders exactly what the connection is beyond the absence of anything but water in this product and in homeopathic remedies. Despite this, the forward to the promoters’ book on their product states clearly that the “discovery” takes,

the concept of homeopathy into the twenty-first century…Their demonstration of microscopic clusters in water is groundbreaking and revolutionary! Their purification of water, with the atmospheric purity described, places homeopathy on a scientifically valid foundation that is equal at least to the discovery of atomic energy.

What Are the Claims?

On another site devoted to this product, the promoters first weasel out of any liability or fraud allegations by stating,

It is not a drug or a curative agent (medicine) in any respect. [We] are not medical doctors and we want all to know that we make no representations that this water treats or cures anything, period….let’s all be careful about how we introduce this discovery to the world: Do not make claims, please! This water does not “cure” cancer, does not “cure” diabetes—it does not cure anything. It is not a drug; it is not a medicine. It is simply water…

Disclaimer out of the way, they then merrily go on to say

It is our belief that this phase of water is a central agent in the arsenal of the body’s immune response….we theorize that these particles are the molecular basis for what Chinese Medicine has suggested for over two thousand years: that an electrical matrix surrounds the body and this electrical matrix is the senior dominating factor in all health issues….Therefore it is very feasible that we have found a material basis for the Chinese meridians.

Wait, I thought their “discovery” proved the scientific basis of homeopathy. So, it also proves the scientific basis behind Traditional Chinese Medicine? Wow! Anyway, on to more medical claims:

….have numerous MDs and scores of other healthcare professionals recommended this new phase of water to their clients, patients and family members for a healthy lifestyle? Absolutely. If one is a rational, sane individual and witnesses large numbers of people with many varied health problems experiencing remarkable changes in their wellness, something occurs deep inside oneself. It becomes more a crusade than a research line. And the people whose lives have been saved or changed greatly for the better want others to know what they think of this water—so the word spreads.

And not to leave out the important (and potentially lucrative?) veterinary sector, the promoters of Double Helix Water provide some additional endorsement on this site from a paragon of the holistic hodgepodge school of veterinary medicine, Dr. Deva Khalsa, who says:

I have found Double Helix to be a cutting edge product that works deeply to heal my canine and feline patients. I’ve found it helpful in cases of arthritis, autoimmune disease, cancer and diabetes along with other medical problems.

The folks marketing Double Helix Water, clearly have a philosophical agenda that goes beyond their claims of mere scientific interest in the nature of water, or even the possibly genuine belief that anecdotes and testimonials have really shown it to be useful. This is clear from the preface to their book, which contains a remarkable number of quack warning signs efficiently packaged in a small space:

 The Secret of Life has been the foundation of philosophy and medicine throughout history. The Chinese called it chi; the Japanese, qi; the Indians, prana; and Wilhelm Reich, orgone. Much of medicine before 1940 was rather pragmatic empirical practice with many errors. Since 1940 the bulk of modern medicine has been a takeover by the PharmacoMafia—my title for the pharmaceutical industry. Today Modern Medicine is at least the third leading cause of death in the United States (JAMA, July 2000). Drugs that have little justification and serious risks, called side effects, are added almost daily to the stream of offerings. Numerous brave souls question the current system, and yet it is THE SYSTEM rejecting and attacking viciously virtually every alternative.

Nothing as inspiring as an open-minded individual disinterestedly pursuing the greater good of all, eh? Well, perhaps not entirely open-minded philosophically, as this passage illustrates. What about disinterested? Well, let’s not forget that even though it’s “just water,” they aren’t exactly giving it away. Here’s the “bottom line” from one of their two official vendors, Dr. Khalsa:

One bottle of Double Helix Water™ (a three months supply) at an average usage price of $1.22 a day – $109.95

One bottle of Double Helix Water™ (a two months supply) at an average usage price of $1.33 a day – $79.99

Special Subscription Pricing Offer – Receive a three month supply every three months at an average usage price of $1.12 a day – $99.99

Who’s Behind It?

Interestingly, two of the promoters, David Gann and Dr. Shiu-Yin Lo appear to have a long history of selling dubious forms of magic water. Dr. Lo was Director of Research and Development for American Technologies Group (ATG) in the 1990s. He claimed to have discovered another form of structured water with elements called “IE crystals” in it, which was marketed in the form of a detergent-free cleaning product called a “laundry ball” and also an automobile engine performance enhancer called The Force. According to one source, these products were investigated by the Oregon Department of Justice and determined to be fraudulent, and the company paid a fine and eventually closed down. Affidavits from a an independent analytical laboratory and a professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon were submitted refuting the company’s claims about IE crystals, and the DOJ concluded that these claims were not supported and not consistent with appropriate scientific practices. David Gann was the Director of Marketing for ATG.

Dr. Norm Shealy, who wrote the preface to the marketing book about Double Helix Water, is a committed proponent of Hodgepodge Holism on the human side, including spiritual and prayer healing, hormones and all manner of supplements, energy medicine, and a wide variety of unproven and quack therapies. All three of these individuals obviously have lifelong personal, and financial, commitments to bogus medical therapies.

And there is the veterinary face of Double Helix Water, Dr. Deva Khalsa. From her web site, she subscribes to any and all forms of alternative therapy grouped, for no obvious reason, under the label “holistic.” Acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal therapies, chiropractic, applied kinesiology, prolotherapy, energy medicine, hair analysis, all sorts of supplements, and of course Double Helix Water. Dr. Khalsa will even consult and prescribe these remedies by phone, which is certainly a more convenient way of assessing your pet’s needs than a bothersome in-person visit or physical exam.

What About the Science?

So, what about this “scientific breakthrough”? Any chance it’s real? Well, not being an expert in physics or chemistry, despite some training in those fields, I can’t evaluate the underlying theory very extensively. Of course, neither can the doctors who believe in the remedy, despite their glowing testimonials and deep faith. Those of us who practice science-based medicine are sometimes at a disadvantage since we cannot as blithely dismiss the claims we haven’t investigated or understood thoroughly as easily as those who practice faith-based medicine can affirm them without investigating or understanding them. However, there are some with the appropriate expertise who do dismiss the claims about “structured water” in general, including a product previously “invented” and sold by one of the promoters of Double Helix water. Apart from the affidavits and analyses submitted in association with the fraud investigation of ATG, there is an entire web site devoted to structured water quackery, provided by a former professor of chemistry, Stephen Lower.  Apparently, there is an entire industry built around claims that manipulating the atomic or molecular properties of water can solve all your health problems. Dr. Lower mentions Dr. Lo’s claims about IE crystals and points out that the only scientific publication concerning these claims was in a journal, Physics Letters B, that does not require reporting the details of one’s methodology and has minimal peer review, so it is difficult to assess the quality or reliability of the data presented. The findings have been challenged on practical and theoretical bases both by Dr. Paul Engelking, the author of the affidavit in the ATG case (here) and by Steven Bittenson, a physicist who is actually a proponent of homeopathy (here). Another paper of Dr. Lo’s, on so-called “stable water clusters” and presented on the front page of the Double Helix Water website (here) is from the companion journal Physics Letters A. No other journal appears willing to publish Dr. Lo’s claims about water, which should be cause for some skepticism about them.

Dr. Lower provides lengthy discussions on his site of the science, and pseudoscience, behind “structured water,” and while my expertise only permits me to say with confidence that the medical claims for Double Helix Water are implausible and without any real evidence to support them, Dr. Lower cogently argues that the same is true of the underlying physics and chemistry claims made by the inventors of this wonder product.

So in essence we have a group of individuals dedicated not only to theories and practices which are improbable and not supported by solid evidence or accepted by mainstream science, but also with a long history of trying to make a living selling products based on these theories. The perfect storm of cognitive dissonance, philosophical bias, and financial self-interest to prevent any rational consideration on the part of the promoters that they might be mistaken. The result is yet another unproven and most likely thoroughly useless product sold to people who only want the best for their sick pets, and most often to those whose animal companions have serious medical problems for which highly effective real therapies don’t exist. Empty promises and false hope, for only $79.99-199.99 per bottle (plus shipping and handling).

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous CAVM. Bookmark the permalink.

145 Responses to Double Helix Water: More Magic Water Quackery

  1. skeptvet says:

    The problem is that
    1. They are making implausible claims which are not supported by any science or data other than that they have generated
    2. They are linking these claims to mythical vitalist entities like “chi” despite the fact that such non-physical entities have never been shown scientifically to exist and probably could not be given their supposed nature as non-physical. No one has proved meridans exist and, in fact, there is good reason to believe they don’t.
    3. They are implying health benefits associated with these unproven and dubious claims
    4. They have done exactly the same thing in the past and, when challenged by the legal system for doing so have simply shifted the language and venue of their claims while still, in essence, selling magic.

    What caveats they do provide are simply an attempt to avoid further legal action. The burden of proving a claim true lies with the one who makes it, and there is no reason to “go easy” on someone selling such clear nonsense as if it were medicine.

  2. Lorah says:

    I starting using it last night on my 8 year old German Shepherd who is suffering from Lupus. IT’S WORKING!!! she is more comfortable, her muscles and joints that are usually so cramped up and swollen feel softer and cool instead of inflamed. So if it’s total BS why is it working?

  3. skeptvet says:

    Unfortunately, the problem is with how you have decided it’s “working.” Anything from bloodletting to prayer can appear to heal if we rely on the “try it and see” method, which is why we made zero progress in medicine for tens of thousands of years. Until, that is, we discovered how to use scientific methods to compensate for the weaknesses in our unaided observations. Though I doubt it will make any difference, here are three articles that explain in detail why your conclusion doesn’t actually prove anything:

    Why We’re Often Wrong

    Medical Miracles- Should We Believe?

    Caregiver Placebo Effects-Study Shows Why We Often Think Ineffective Therapies Are Working

  4. v.t. says:


    If it worked, and especially if it worked magically overnight, it would be a pharmaceutical company’s dream. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence it works, none, zero, zilch. The very premise of it is ludicrous, crazy. Unless there’s a real active ingredient in it, (and if it’s a drug, then they’re in trouble), it’s nothing more than water with hyped up labeling and marketing.

    From their website:

    Double Helix Water is not a drug nor does it “cure” something; the water is only one of the factors that is needed for the body to heal or recover and works best when taken continuously. The effects can last for several hours to several days, but in the end it is ONLY the body that is doing the healing.

    In other words, take for as long as you believe it works. And quacks will stop at nothing to convince you that you need it, while robbing you blind and persuading you to ignore getting real treatment.

    Double Helix Water is the result of using electrical pressure that surrounds a charged particle to convert ultra-pure water into Stable Water Clusters for commercial use. It believed to be a naturally occurring process that is now manufactured for commercial use, thanks to Double Helix Water.

    If it’s so naturally occuring, then why manufacturer it? Apparently, because they think people are dumb enough not to know they need it, and it can only be manufactured by them. People aren’t dumb, they are just vulnerable and desperate.

    While some people feel results in a matter of weeks and some feel benefits gradually over several months of taking the water, Double Helix Water is a lifestyle change product. The benefits to the body are best felt over a long period of time and users should take it daily as they would take regular vitamins or supplements.

    Yes, for the best benefits, keep paying hundreds of dollars a month to these hucksters, and keep telling yourself it works, they’re depending on you to do just that. Your dog, however, doesn’t have the luxury of a voice to tell you that it is not helping him, not in the least.

    * Double Helix Water® does not endorse claims or have scientific proof that Stable Water Clusters are effective in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease. Stable Water Clusters have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    This is the required “Quack Miranda Warning”. It’s not approved by the FDA (let alone tested through rigorous clinical trials), any claims that treat a health condition must carry this warning, which doesn’t matter to quacks, they always find a way around it and make dubious claims, draw in the vulnerable and desperate and rob them of their money. You’ve been a victim, plain and simple, and it pains me greatly that your dog cannot tell you he isn’t being helped.

  5. Lars says:

    I stumbled on to this product as I was researching another similar product called
    “Asea Water.” When I read reviews, I listen not so much to the “wordy” intellectual mumbo jumbo, but the attitude behind the words. I have found people who use their intellect to degrade others, usually have their own agenda by doing so, like one of the reviews above. “VT” also has no basis for his conclusion, it is his opinion based on his own assumptions. I always like to hear both sides, that is why I read your blog. As I listened to your “own assumptions” I found myself thinking ~ is “Skeptvet” working for a Pharmaceutical Company trying to discredit this person, maybe? Now, you and “VT” know full well, that this company in question cannot make any claims, it is unlawful. Your comments, as well as “VT’s” comments cannot be taken too seriously because you know nothing about the product, the intelligent thing to do, if you want to discredit it, try it yourself, then and only then you comments will have some credibility. Your comments are like someone giving negative reviews about a new movie, they did not view. That would be ridiculous.

  6. skeptvet says:

    I always find it odd that people find blatantly making stuff up, as the folks at Double-Helix Water have done, perfectly acceptable but start looking for sinister motives when someone asks them to provide some real evidence for these claims. Sorry, I don’t work for a drug company. And the “try it yourself” argument is worthless, as I’ve explained elsewhere. So while you are free to believe whatever you like, but since you provide no new evidence and resort worthless arguments, no one is required to take your beliefs seriously.

  7. v.t. says:

    So, Lars, if I put some water in a bottle, make up some stuff about it, and sell it as having a magical process that cures just about anything that ails you, I should be exempt from proving my claims and the testimonials from fools who buy it are all that is required?

    I have an abundant supply of water here, I’ll charge you only 19.99 for a special gallon of water, but wait, if you respond within the next 10 minutes, I’ll send you an additional gallon for free. Why? Well, it’s so special because I say it is, I want the whole world to benefit from it and I’m only charging you 19.99 for each gallon. But you can only benefit from my special water if you take it for the rest of your life and it is required that you believe what I say about my special water in order for it to work for you. Sorry, only first-time customers get a free gallon, per family, per address, per lifetime, the rest you have to pay for.

    You do believe me, don’t you?

    Btw, v.t. is a female. And I have a right to “degrade”, as you say, any cretin who deceives others into buying dubious, crackpot products AKA quackery.

  8. Milo says:

    It is truly amazing that so many supposedly educated people have so little knowledge about things that really work. Science is very one sided and is usually geared towards selfish outcomes. True science is a blessing from our creator and embraces all truth but most scientist discount we even have a creator.
    I for one know that Double Helix Water really works!!!! Why I have tried it for the last for the last eight months consistently with great results. Old sports injuries do not bother me any longer, I have more energy, internal health issues that have plagued me for over 30 years have disappeared and much, much more. What do the doctors have to say about my amazing health improvements? “What ever you are doing keep doing it” Why because they have never had any solutions for anything other than providing medicine which does not promote the healing of anything. One of the whole basis for medicine is to prolong life and quality of it not to fix things unless you are a surgeon and something is broken.
    Before you speak about something without really trying it for a fair amount of time you should surely not give an uneducated opinion about it. That just shows a lack of intelligence and I know that intelligence and education are two different things.
    We all have the right to express our opinion but lets do so with a scientific approach, try it first for at least 3 months and then see what you think. Its water like no other I have ever tried with excellent results.
    “Some people try to softly tip-toe through life so that they can arrive at death safely”

  9. Laura says:

    I have been using the water for a week!!! One week!! My feet were falling asleep during the night and I would have to ‘wake them up’!! My doctor ran many tests and could not find any thing wrong !! They were getting worse !! Considered the Mayo Clinic!!! After one week on the water…. about 15 drops, twice a day, I am sleeping through the night! Still have some tingling but the improvement is unbelievable !!! I am married to a scientist who debunks everything that has not been proven by the scientific method! I call him a Fundamentalist!!! Same as the Baptist Church!! I more and more believe we, including scientists, know very little about how things work and how healing occurs!!!

  10. skeptvet says:

    There is much we don’t know. This doesn’t mean anything can be true. And one thingwe do know is that uncontrolled personal experiences like yours don’t prove anything. You are the one acting on faith here.

  11. michael says:

    To say that homeopathy doesn’t work is ridiculous. I use to think the same thing till I tried it. But if you want to prove it to yourself try proving a homeopathic remedy like Glonoine. If you don’t know what proving a remedy means then you should study homeopathy enough to find out. But if you like to try something without first learning about it I suggest you try this. Take 200c Glonoine four times a day for a month and let me know how it worked out for you. Okay I’m being a little mean here. First let me tell you what your in for. Proving a remedy means if you’re a healthy person without symptoms you can take a remedy over and over again until you start proving the remedy. This means you will develop the same symptoms that the remedy will heal in a sick person. In other words if you give the remedy Gloin to a person who has throbbing bursting headaches the remedy will get rid of headaches. But if you’re a healthy person with know symptoms and take a 200c dose four times a day you could develop those symptoms. When you stop taking the remedy it those headaches should disappear. I said should. If your over sensitive to the remedy they might not disappear so fast. Then you would have see one of these quack homeopaths to antidote the remedy for you. OH BUT I FORGOT YOU WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT BECAUSE THERE IS NO BASES BEHIND HOMEOPATHY. YEAH I THOUGHT THE SAME THING UNTIL I FOUND OUT DIFFERENTLY. STUBBORNLY PROVING SEVERAL REMEDIES THINKING IT WAS ALL QUACKERY I FOUND THE HARD WAY I WAS WRONG. Of course I was young and healthy then. But when I got older and got sick and no doctor or hospital could do anything for me but give me drugs that did nothing but dope me up I went tried homeopathy and it worked so well it was unbelievable. It relieved the symptoms immediately. But it did cure right away it took time to cure. In other words when I quit using it the symptoms would come back and then when I took it again the would go away. Eventually over time I could stop using the remedies and the symptoms never returned. Today I’m sixty five years of age. I can run two miles, do a hundred pushups without stopping. I look and feel like a very healthy fifty year old. So think what you like. But don’t tell me homeopathy doesn’t work or that it’s just a placebo effect. First did you know that it was a homeopath that coined the word placebo? It was a word used when a person thought he felt better but it wasn’t caused by the remedy. But in such cases the homeopath knew that the symptoms would eventually returned and that the patient wasn’t well. It just seems that we know so little about the things we judge. I say this because I used to think homeopathy was fakery. based on the assumptions put out there by people who had no experience in homeopathy. Did you know the greatest homeopath in America James Tyler Kent was a doctor who thought homeopathy was quackery. His wife became ill he couldn’t cure her and she wanted to see a homeopath. He wouldn’t let her. Then he realized that she was dying and didn’t have much time and he thought why not. It can’t hurt her so he let her see the homeopath. Not because he thought she would get well but because he figured it would appease her. Guess what she did get well and James Tyler Kent took up studying homeopathy and became the most famous homeopath in America.

  12. skeptvet says:

    Several points:

    1. “Try it and see” is just more reliance on uncontrolled anecdotes, which I’ve explained many times already are not reliable. This is a basic failure to understand how and why science works. The anecdotes you present aren’t any more convincing than those presented by believers in astrology, ALien Abduction, or any other unproven or disproven idea.

    2. It is routine for skeptics of homeopathy to take ultradilute remedies in orer to demonstrate that no effects are observed. This “test” has been done many times (for example).

    3. “provings” are a completly subjective, unreliable process in which peole take what they think is a medicine and then record every thought, feeling, or sensation they have afterward. Homeopaths then pull whatever they think feels relevant out of these diaries and call it an effect of the remedy.

    If you wake up one morning with a headache, do you start trying to figure out why? I certainly do. Maybe I didn’t sleep long enough. Or maybe I had a little too much wine the night before. Could I have been clenching my teeth in my sleep because I’m worried about a deadline at work? No, it must have been the wine! Yes, that has to be it. If I try hard enough, I can always find a likely cause for my headache.

    But, if you wake up without a headache, do you ever think about all the things you did that didn’t give you a headache? Gee, I had two glasses of wine last night and only slept 6 hours, but I don’t have a headache! Of course you don’t do this. But the fact is that the kind of casual guessing game we play trying to explain the minor, ordinary physical experiences of being alive isn’t a very reliable guide to what actually causes these experiences. And yet a proving is exactly this kind of guessing game. The claim that a given substance causes certain symptoms in healthy people is based entirely on giving it to subjects and then looking at what they experience afterwards and guessing which experiences are due to the substance.

    The unreliability of this method was recognized early on by critics of homeopathy. In his lectures Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions, given in 1842, Oliver Wendell Holmes discussed some examples of homeopathic provings to make this point.

    The following list [of symptoms] was taken literally from the Materia Medica of Hahnemann…

    ‘After stooping some time, sense of painful weight about the head upon resuming the erect posture.’
    ‘An itching, tickling sensation at the outer edge of the palm of the left hand, which obliges the person to scratch.’

    The medicine was acetate of lime, and as the action of the globule taken is said to last twenty-eight days, you may judge how many such symptoms as the last might be supposed to happen…

    I have not cited these specimens with any view to exciting a sense of the ridiculous, which many others of those mentioned would not fail to do, but to show that the common accidents of sensation, the little bodily inconveniences to which all of us are subject, are seriously and systematically ascribed to whatever medicine may have been exhibited, even in the minute doses I have mentioned, whole days or weeks previously.

    To these are added all the symptoms ever said by anybody, whether deserving confidence or not….

    Attempts to verify provings have been no more successful than other tests of hoempathic theories and clinical effects:

    Dantas F, Fisher P. A systematic review of homeopathic pathogenic trials (‘provings’)
    published in the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1995. In: Ernst E, editor. Homeopathy: a
    critical appraisal. London: Butterworth Heinemann; 1998. pp. 69–97.

    Brien S, Prescott P, Owen D, Lewith G. How do homeopaths make decisions? An
    exploratory study of inter-rater reliability and intuition in the decision making process.
    Homeopathy. 2004 Jul;93(3):125-31.

    Fisher P, Dantas F. Homeopathic pathogenetic trials of Acidum malicum and Acidum
    ascorbicum. British Journal of Homeopathy. 2001;90:118–125.

    Sarah Brien, George Lewith, and Trevor Bryant1. Ultramolecular homeopathy has no
    observable clinical effects. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled proving trial
    of Belladonna 30C. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2003;56(5):562–568.

    Walach H, Koster H, Hennig T, Haag G. Symptoms produced from homeopathic
    Belladonna C30 are likely due to chance. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

    K Goodyear, G Lewith, and J L Low Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial
    of homoeopathic ‘proving’ for Belladonna C30. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

  13. Water has been credited with some interesting facts and although I am not convinced by the double helix I do believe in the fact that water has “memory”. The crystal experiments show evidence of this and you can watch the you tube water has memory video. Homoeopathy. Has adequate research done and the Aussie website is defending the matter of researched results in court and gives references. Only when you have treated babies and animals successfully with homoeopathic medication you will appreciate the fact that there is more to medicine than what the “Mayo clinic model” has to offer. I have been in practice for 40 years and am trust you too will reserve your scientific judgement until. You too have more clinical experience. Good luck.

  14. skeptvet says:

    The fact that you think “scientific judgment” should be dependant on “clinical experience” shows that you don’t really understand the whole point of science, which is to compensate for the inherent predisposition to error that bedevils uncontrolled individual obersvation. You doo’nt learn what works by trying stuff out and seeing what happens yourself, but by submitting ideas and practices to rigorous scientific investigation and the scrutiny and critique of a scientific community. What you are promoting is opinion-base dmedicine, not evidence-based medicine, and it is not the way forward for health care.

  15. v.t. says:

    It makes my blood boil when babies and animals are used as examples of homeopathy’s (non)-effectiveness. Why not claim pet rocks, chia-pets and the lamp on the table as well.

  16. karin peperstraete says:

    I had in january tests in hospital and got diagnosed COPD 2, i got told there was no way it could improve but with medicines it could be (hopefully) taken to a hold,
    i have since 4 weeks used double helix, use a sixth of my medicin and have been labeld yesterday COPD 1 , doctor was amazed and asked me what happened, my bloodpressure is totally in range, i can walk again everyday with my dogs (which i couldn’t for some time) and feel better since i felt in years,
    i read your article and wonder if you ever did some research or look further then your nose long is, i only can say “very shortsighted! ” and bit disappointing, being against just for the fact of being against …

  17. Dr YoYo says:

    What an amazingly interesting conversation. SkeptVet delivers an endless barrage of home run responses to an inflammatory topic. Great read.

  18. Paoquiao says:

    From your article: “The beauty of pseudoscience as a marketing tool is that it is, for those not trained in the particular branch of real science being mimicked, almost indistinguishable from the real thing.”

    Pseudoscience was created to keep people left brain dominance, so that they don’t explore the spiritual side of reality. What you call “real science” isn’t “real science” anymore. Instead, it has become a religion. Real science is about being open to all possibilities.

    “The left brain is the masculine side that deals with logic, analytical thought, science and math. Most males tend to be left brain dominant, which explains why they have strong math and science skills. On the other hand, the right brain is the feminine side that deals with creativity, holistic thought, spiritual awareness and compassion… When the right and left brain are out of balance, it often leads to psychological side effects. People who are left brain dominant generally rely too much on logic and science. Some of them are also very skeptical and atheistic. As a result, left brain dominant people often lack creativity, holistic understanding, spiritual awareness and intuitive skills.”

    Another technology that left brain dominant conventional scientists label as pseudoscience is “free energy” technologies. These “free energy” technologies are now coming out. My advice is to be open to all possibilities but also ask questions until you are absolute sure that it is true or not.


  19. skeptvet says:

    Complete nonsense. The left brain/right brain dichotomy is an oversimplification that has been discredited. What you are doing is taking the temperament and aesthetic style you prefer and manufacturer and pseudoscientific rationale for why other people don’t value it as much as you do. It is a transparent attempt to privilege your own preferences and avoid the unpleasant reality that science doesn’t support what you wish to believe.

  20. Paoquiao says:

    It wouldn’t be wise to say it is “complete nonsense.” The link you refer to about left brain and right brain talks about measuring brain function using brain scan technology. This technology isn’t as accurate as claimed and does have flaws.

    The brain works like a biological quantum computer that is very complex to measure. If you understand quantum physics, you should know how complex this subject is. By the way, quantum computers used to be labeled as pseudoscience until it was proven wrong. Brain scan technology still has a lot of evolving to do before it can accurately measure how the brain works.


  21. skeptvet says:

    The comment “complete nonsense” referred not only to the debunked theory of extreme lateralization of brain function, for which the link I provided was merely an illustration and not the sum of all the evidence, but to the entire edifice you built on this flimsy foundation. You have provided no reasonable information to suggest the assessment was inaccurate.

  22. Colesiv says:


    Please don’t let this article discourage you from thinking there’s a possibility that this product might have a positive effect on your current situation. Earlier this year I had a chance to work along side some of the people behind double helix water. (By ‘some people’ I mean those responsible to attract others to not only try double helix water but also to allow their experiences to be monitored for data purposes. – A, by no means perfect, data collection process from my point of view.) After experiencing what I did when working with the people behind Double Helix Water, and then going on to read what I did in this article; I felt it necessary to post this because I know there are people out there looking for that push to either invest in the water to improve their situation, or not.

    I worked in the quantum health clinic in Pasadena, CA that used thermography to show people physical evidence of changes in their bodies within fifteen minutes after usage of double helix water. I came into contact with every family, couple, individual who came through the clinic. I was able to hear experiences told to me directly from the person being affected by whatever predicament they where in on a daily basis.

    The thing that I think is most important to share is what I saw; regardless of what knowledge I have of any medical situation and how any factor in the world can affect that situation in a positive or negative way. What I saw, day in and day out, while I was working in the clinic were people coming in reporting positive effects. Now this author ‘skeptvet’ has responded to people, in his comments above, in a way that I believe could stop the average researcher from considering Double Helix Water as an option.

    I want to tell the average researcher that I’ve seen people dealing with autistic children, old age problems, long term injury effects, energy problems, cancer, cataracts, weight issues, even my own uncle dealing with a severe motorcycle injury, and that this product ‘works’ and people are ‘healed’ or they see ‘results’ as if they’re being ‘cured’. I WANT TO TELL YOU THIS SO BADLY.

    However, I know from experience that others, no matter who the opposition is, will successfully attack what I’m sharing if I say any of that. This comment is not an argument for the opposition. Rather encouragement for those on the fence about this product.

    So instead I will tell you this: in my personal experience, I saw every age group, every race of people, both males and females in ‘perfect health’ and with medical complications. Based of what I verbally heard and personally read in the ‘patient’s’ file (containing progress reports, questionnaires, thermographic results) I can confidently say that almost every person was positively affected by using Double Helix Water.

    Please pay attention to what I’m not saying as skepvet could easily sway you if you don’t catch my meaning. When I say ‘positively affected’ I DO NOT MEAN that I believe that any of the people I am describing have been ‘cured’, ‘healed’, or have even experienced a physical effect that could be proven and backed by the scientific community. Even if I did believe any of that I could not say that on a website such as this because ‘science’ does have legitimate ways of discrediting opinions such as that. BUT, I can say what I personally have seen with my own eyes, in hopes that I can get someone curious enough to try it. Please! Let the doctors and the scientists and the article writers talk on and on in distracting arguments such the ‘definition of proof’ and how an individuals’ experience does not count as evidence of scientific value. I AM NOT SAYING don’t research the product and claims about the product.

    The only way I believe this author skepvet could keep you from being curious about Double Helix Water is by calling me a straight up liar and that what I saw didn’t happen. As I am claiming that I have seen positive effects this water has on people NOT that I know for a fact that these people i will describe have had definite physical improvement in their condition.

    For the people on the edge about this product: I have seen several families with autistic children come in to our clinic in Pasadena reporting of little to significant improvement in their children’s behavior, habits, and social interaction.
    – I have seen geriatrics struggling with arthritis and old age come in reporting of the most pain relief they have ever felt in years.
    -I have seen ‘patient’s’ relatives come in reporting of better behavior and energy levels in their loved ones regardless of the medical condition or age.
    -I have witnessed, once terminal, patients come in reporting of their doctors’ amazement in their recovery.
    -I have seen people come in reporting of no changes whatsoever, however the difference in their thermo graphic scans is significant enough to observe from an unprofessional eye.
    -I have personally used this product for my pets and have seen positive behavior changes, good energy levels, and positive improvements in their eating habits.
    -I have witnessed my uncle recover extremely well over the last few months following a nasty motorcycle accident.
    I have seen all these things, please leave it up to your judgement as to whether or not you want to believe me. I believe skepvet will try to persuade you that what I’ve seen means absolutely nothing and that all of these instances (which aren’t even half of what I’ve seen) described can be explained by some other form scientific evidence. THAT MAY BE TRUE! However, it is extremely frightening to see someone in the science community (a community supposedly directed towards advancement through open minded ness) will tell people outright that this product has no evidence supporting it without providing any legitimate specifics counter examples or evidence. There are people trying to make decisions about the well being of themselves and their family. It is unjustifiable that someone would try to persuade others in another direction if they weren’t 110% sure that the theory they were leading people away from was incorrect and totally ridiculous. And if they are 110% sure then we’re is the counter evidence!?

    Not once did I experience a person who came in to report worsening of their condition. Not once did I hear a dispute over the content of the product. (Meaning never have I heard of a doctor or research group that disproved anything the people from double helix have claimed)

    Please don’t pay attention to the distraction arguments that do not combat actual evidence with actual evidence!

    People have experienced positive effects!! You owe it to yourself or loved one to learn more about it. People on this article comments who have described personal experiences are all attacked saying that their experience doesn’t count as proof or evidence. THIS IS ALL TRUE! Their experiences don’t mean a thing when it comes to your specific condition/ situation! But please pay attention to how all these people report good, if not great things about this product.



  23. skeptvet says:

    You take a lot of words to say that while you admit there is no scientific evidence this product does anything, or any reasonable scientific explanation for how it could, you still think it does because you’ve seen this that convince you it works. If you substituted “Lourdes Water” or “Magic Beans” for “Double Helix Water,” there would be no need to change anything else you’ve said. Basically, all you’ve said is that people should try this for themselves based on your faith in it and not feel the need to have scientific evidence. You’re entitled to your belief and opinion, just as I am entitled to point out that this approach to figuring out what works and what doesn’t in medicine failed consistently for thousands of years and that the scientific approach has made our lives better and longer to a degree unimaginable when we were using your approach.

    As always, everyone will have to decide for themselves, not only if this product is useful but if it is even worth taking your approach and trying it, or magic beans, for themselves.

  24. Colesiv says:

    Never did I admit there was no scientific evidence.

    I have seen and believe the scientific evidence, I have interacted with Dr. Lo and creator of the product. However I am not qualified to explain the evidence without taking up five pages of references and support data.

    I hope it is clear to the audience that he author of this article has no one close to him/ her that is using the product.

    And please skepvet, if it is your job to say that a certain method of drug/ treatment trial has failed for thousands of years, fine. But wouldn’t that imply that you should not deny or even discourage the existence of the effects that the water may hold until a scientific approach, such as the one you described, has been conducted against the claims??

    Why put a bad vibe out about a “possible scientific breakthrough”?

    Shouldn’t your article instead come out and say “wow look at this totally not completely understood by the scientific community this product is, let’s investigate some evidence as to why this product may not work, and let’s find people who have used it and found it to be a scam” INSTEAD of attacking weird points about Double Helix’s claims

    Isn’t denial without scientific evidence of your own ignorant on your part?

  25. Colesiv says:

    Also…. Isn’t faith the belief in something not seen!?

    What I described in my comment was the complete opposite of faith.

    Thanks for reading!

  26. skeptvet says:

    You are mischaracterizing my position. What I have said is
    1. No scientific evidence has been provided to the public to support the claims made for the product and
    2. The theoretical rationale for how the product should work is inconsistent with established scientific knowledge
    3. There is some questionable history to the development of the product and the claims made by the individuals involved.

    All of this suggests it is very unlikely the product works as claimed, and the fact that there are testimonials to the contrary is irrelevant since these exist for every claim ever made, no matter how implausible or how convincingly disproven.

    You are also missing the point in that you act as if the burden ought to be on me to disprove these claims. The proper approach is for those who make a claim, and make money selling a product with such claims, should bear the burden of proving the claim true. This is how regulation of healthcare and other consumer products generally works because the old caveat emptor approach, where anyone could claim anything they wanted to and if it was untrue and people were harmed that was just how it went, was a failure. There are loopholes in the rules that allow nonsense like this to be marketed, but that doesn’t mean doing so is appropriate.

    You continue to imply that the way to judge a product is to talk to people who have used it, and you seem unable to grasp why this is unreliable and nothing but a form of blind faith in fallible human judgment. Your faith is in what you see, but that requires ignoring abundant evidence that trusting what you see or how things appear in medicine is dangerous. Faith is the persistence of belief based on personal feeling and experience regardless of, and even despite any evidence to the contrary, which appears to describe your position quite well.

    Your belief is not evidence, yet you present it as such. My skepticism is also not evidence, but I don’t use it to support a claim, merely to point out the weakness in the claims made for this product. I ask questions, while you claim to know the answers without giving us any reason to believe you other than the strength of your own belief in your belief and experiences. Weak epistemological tea.

  27. v.t. says:

    Yikes, was that an infomercial or what?! That sounded like an MLM pitch if ever there was one.

  28. Colesiv says:

    My comments above were for people who have exhausted all other options. As I clearly stated. I have seen many people come to quantum health clinic because they have tried it all. I want those people reading in that same situation, who might not research and explore as deep as they should, to know that they shouldn’t be turned off by skepticism. Especially if the source of that skepticism (who has no personal experience using the product or any close relationship with an individual who has) paints a picture of a product being used in some ridiculous scheme with no counter evidence against it. Isn’t that irresponsible? Hasn’t that happened in history countless times? Double Helix Water is still very early in its data collection stages. Of course there will be skepticism. But why absurd skepticism?

    I make no claims in my comments. I present no personal beliefs about Double Helix Water in my comments. Nor do I argue for either side of the scientific approach to launching a product into the public. I do suggest that you maybe use productive skepticism but I believe that’s as far as I went.

    You keep saying “you imply”, “you act as if”‘, “it is your belief”, as starters for your counter arguments. Why not present example of what I say and counter argue it directly instead of putting your own personal twist on what I say. That seems to me to be careless because you suggest the problem lies with my beliefs and implications rather than looking at the content of my comment and combating it directly. For example 😉 , in skeptvet’s last comment in the last paragraph: “Your belief is not evidence, yet you present it as such. My skepticism is also not evidence, but I don’t use it to support a claim, merely to point out the weakness in the claims made for this product. I ask questions, while you claim to know the answers without giving us any reason to believe you other than the strength of your own belief in your belief and experiences. Weak epistemological tea.”
    A. When did I ever present my beliefs as evidence? I told what I have seen and that stated I believe it is worth the try.
    B. Yes you ask questions, but you do so while making absurd comparisons. Isn’t that irresponsible when you’ve had no contact with those who have had their lives changed by this water? Imagine if you had, instead of comparing Double Helix to magic beans you’d be writing about how maybe there’s something to it. So since you have a one sided perspective isn’t it wreck less to compare the product in such a way?
    C. When did I claim to know answers? That is laughable if you read my original comment.

    I guess I would ask of you as a public informer to present the information in a way that is productive to the researcher. What you say could influence someone who could really use this product.

  29. skeptvet says:

    I want those people reading in that same situation, who might not research and explore as deep as they should, to know that they shouldn’t be turned off by skepticism

    Except you’re not suggesting research, your suggesting trying the product or talking with people who have, and you cannot seem to understand why that is an unreliable source of information.

    What I saw, day in and day out, while I was working in the clinic were people coming in reporting positive effects.

    The clear purpose in reporting this is to influence people to consider using the product because this suggests it works. You are making claims with the intent of influencing people’s behavior, and your are implying that you believe the product is beneficial. It is pure sophistry to suggest you have any purpose in this discussion other than to convince people to ignore my concerns about the available evidence and consider trying the product for themselves based on anecdotal evidence, which is exactly how I have characterized your [position and what I have responded to.

    I want to tell the average researcher that I’ve seen people dealing with autistic children, old age problems, long term injury effects, energy problems, cancer, cataracts, weight issues, even my own uncle dealing with a severe motorcycle injury, and that this product ‘works’ and people are ‘healed’ or they see ‘results’ as if they’re being ‘cured’. I WANT TO TELL YOU THIS SO BADLY.

    Again, the fact that you then go on to say you can’t actually say this because I will criticize it is disingenuous, because you have effectively said it already. It’s like asking the question “Why did you stop beating your wife?” It clearly makes a claim without ever coming right out and saying ti. Sophistry without substance.

    Based of what I verbally heard and personally read in the ‘patient’s’ file (containing progress reports, questionnaires, thermographic results) I can confidently say that almost every person was positively affected by using Double Helix Water.

    Again, clearly you are using your experience as evidence to suggest the product is effective. Yet your “evidence” here is purely secondhand anecdote.

    We could go on like this, but the point is that
    1. You clearly believe the product is beneficial
    2. You present no evidence other than anecdote to support this, despite claiming to have seen and believed true “scientific” evidence, which for some reason is not being made available in published form as is the usual practice in science
    3. You feel so strongly about this that you think being skeptical and requiring some scientific evidence before choosing to try the product might be harmful to some people, and yet you pretend that encouraging people to try the product is somehow ok but encouraging people to be skeptical of it and demand better evidence is somehow irresponsible.

    Clearly, we have fundamentally incompatible views of both how medical therapies and commercial healthcare products should be evaluated and what constitutes irresponsible manipulation of the public. I see no reasonable chance we will come to an agreement, and readers will simply have to judge for themselves which of our views is more reasonable and likely to lead to the best healthcare decisions.

  30. v.t. says:

    I have seen and believe the scientific evidence, I have interacted with Dr. Lo and creator of the product. However I am not qualified to explain the evidence without taking up five pages of references and support data.

    Apparently, neither are they. Otherwise, they would have produced and published evidence to support the claims.

    Your posts, every single one of them, are based on your perception of others’ anecdotes, none of which amounts to evidence. That’s how this works. Those making extraordinary claims are expected to prove said claims with extraordinary evidence – not testimonials, not anecdotes, not second-hand information. The marketers of double helix water have done nothing but market an imaginary “structured water”, and sell it to gullible and vulnerable people. How much clearer does it need to be for you to understand why people should be skeptical and why this isn’t quakery at it’s finest?

  31. Peter Szakacs says:

    At a continuing education conference this weekend, I encountered the Double Helix Water people. Although the claims and science provided were not convincing, the following WAS. I submitted to a series of infrared thermographic images prior to, and 15 minutes after drinking 2oz. of the water mixture. Although I do NOT understand the precise mechanism involved, I DO KNOW there was a dramatic, positive change in the images of my hands (previously diagnosed with a chronic neuropathy). I will be using the product for one month, at which time I will have the thermographic scans repeated, again. Although NOT a controlled scientific study, this methodology is certainly sufficient for an “in office” clinical evaluation.

  32. skeptvet says:

    Reminds me of applied kinesiology, where you can feel a change in the strength of your muscles associated with “toxic” substances brought near you. Or, for that matter, a Ouija board, which I’ve always enjoyed. I can swear to you that I am in no way influencing the movement of that object, and yet it moves in intelligible ways, so there must be some other force involved, no?. These experiences have felt just as real to me as anyone else, yet I have good reasons for not believing the pseudoscientific explanations for them.

    So the IR images changed after your drank the stuff. What does that mean? A biological effect of the magic water with clinical implications? Ordinary temporal variations in skin temperature or perfusion? A change in the settings of the equipment? Vasodilation associated with the interaction or your own state of sympathetic/parasympathetic balance? Who knows? If you feel better in a month, or your scans are “different” in some subjective way, what will that demonstrate?

    I think this sort of thing provides little useful information. It is very effective marketing, of course, but it doesn’t actually tell us anything about whether or not this is a useful medical therapy. If it did, we really would need controlled studies. If the product has biological effects and medical value, it shouldn’t be difficult to prove in the standard ways. Why rely on showmanship like this instead?

  33. dogowner says:

    “allowing the meridans to open up and allow natural healing and reduction of inflammation (proven by the thermographs).”

    You are joking, right?

    How, in your words, do the thermographs ‘prove’ this. I mean, it’s the second sentence and your claims are already laughable. Show how exactly it has been proven that meridians exist, how it has been demonstrated what they do, and how it has been shown that the DHW affects them.

  34. Rod Morrison says:

    A friend introduced double helix water to me in February 2015. He insisted I “try it for myself.” I have a blood cancer known as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. I asked lots of questions, such as what is in this? Water. How is it manufactured? It is not, it is water. What exactly does it do and how does it do it? That answer was just a bunch of double speak with no answer. I was a chemistry and microbiology major in college so I was disappointed with any lack of real evidence. We’re there any clinical trials? No. Is there a scientific study that can be repeated and duplicated? No.
    So I took the two gallons of the water and sent a sample to the local university lab. After a hefty fee for an analysis, the report came back. What is in it? Water. Anything nefarious I shouldn’t take? No, it is just water.
    I tried it. My results were no effect. I did urinate. There has been no blood work up with any difference over the two months and my labs are done every two weeks. I don’t have any more energy. I don’t have fewer symptoms. I do have to say I did enjoy several glasses of water each day. It was refreshing.
    My final conclusion is that everyone taking this product is just drinking water. Let us have all our patients and our pets consume more water every day. Increasing water consumption is a good thing. Most of us, especially the ill and inform, don’t drink enough water each day. So drink away, just get it from your tap. You will experience the same results.

  35. Eddy says:

    OMG, Skepvet, you are incredibly patient with the magical thinkers — how do you do it?!

    We all know that drinking more water — in it of itself — will improve many things going on in our bodies. I am mystified that no “experiments” by any of the supporters of this have ever been done — even anecdotally! You know, the standard double-blind where one group gets water “with”, another group without addition.

    I remember a magic water additive “invented” when a guy figured out how to add an extra oxygen atom to a water molecule, and now that water had curative properties! (And expensive!) Same directions: a few drops in a glass of water and voila!
    For those of you who DO remember high school chemistry, you will instantly know what this quackery consisted of, but it had the same “sound of legitimacy” that DHW has.
    For those of you who DON’T know what that is, I will let skepvet post what that was as soon as he can stop laughing.
    Yes, you may try it, but stop telling others it “works” when you cannot actually prove that. What “heals” you may not “heal” someone else. They may not “have” the same condition you “have”, anyway.
    Why more people don’t post negative reviews: nobody wants to admit they fell for a scam, whether this one or the nigerian prince email.

    Conversely, there are things about water we don’t know yet. Note the testing, testing, testing of this idea:

  36. Pingback: Response to 13 Reasons Why The CDC is right and you should vaccinate your kids. – autisticagainstantivaxxers

  37. Kate says:

    This stuff cleared out inflammation from costochondritis that I’ve had for over a year. I was google searching for more scientific insight into Double Helix water so that I could better understand it myself. I have suffered from chronic pain in the neck, jaw and ribcage for over 1 year now due to costochondritis. After ruining my intestinal and stomach lining with NSAID’s am I now working with a naturopathic physician to treat my condition holistically. I tried the Double Helix water for the first time as an IV treatment. I am typically a skeptic when it comes to these types of protocols, but let me tell you this stuff has relieved me of painful inflammation I’ve had in my bones and ribcage and has worked better than any anti-inflammatory I’ve ever taken. It was also quite rejuvenating and uplifting. I am truly convinced there is something about this science that can work incredibly well for the body. My IV was not diluted – it was full strength, 1/2 bottle of double-helix water, so I don’t know if that’s why or if it’s the molecules themselves, but I had to at least chime in with my take. I would recommend anyone that’s experienced chronic pain to try at least once.

  38. skeptvet says:

    I’m glad you are better, but such anecdotes say nothing about the actual benefits of such treatments. We have always had such experiences, and they have seemed to validate every failed therapy in history, from bloodletting to ritual sacrifice to homeopathy. Thousands of years of relying on anecdotes did nothing to reduce disease or improve health and longevity, while only a couple of centuries of science-based medicine have dramatically improved our lives and health. As moving as your experience undoubtedly is for you, it doesn’t mean what you believe it means.

    Why We Can’t Trust Anecdotes

  39. Naeemah Senghor says:

    You mentioned prayers as quackery???

  40. skeptvet says:

    I believe this is the sentence you might be thinking of:
    “Dr. Norm Shealy, who wrote the preface to the marketing book about Double Helix Water, is a committed proponent of Hodgepodge Holism on the human side, including spiritual and prayer healing, hormones and all manner of supplements, energy medicine, and a wide variety of unproven and quack therapies.”

    What this says is that the person I am talking about believes in a wide variety of so-called “holistic” treatments, including spiritual interventions and quack medical therapies. I wouldn’t call prayer quack medicine because it is a religious practice, not medicine. The belief that prayer can heal disease is a religious belief, not a medical or scientific claim, and unlike medical and scientific claims, there is no way for people to settle disagreements about religious belief using science because these beliefs are inherently outside of the laws of nature that science investigates. That is one of the problems with alternative medicine proponents confusing medicine and religion and making claims about medicine that are actually simply statements of belief not subject to scientific study or evidence.

    I hope this is clearer.

  41. Paul says:

    I disagree Skeptvet. If someone says that a prayer healed someone or caused a disease to be treated that is a scientific claim that can be falsified. Much like any homeopathy or alternative medicine claim.
    Letting the religious hide behind “it’s religious so you can’t test it” is a crock.
    If prayer causes a disease to go away it has an affect on the physical world and no longer is in the realm of “outside the laws” of nature or science. And we can test that.
    I’m no fan of letting religion off the hook when it makes claims that can be verified. And I am no fan of Gould’s overlapping magisteria argument. It was just a way to placate his own deep seated ideas about not wanting to upset those who still believe in a god or gods. It was a cop out and still is.

  42. skeptvet says:

    I disagree. Sure, we can do controlled trials on intercessory prayer. Some have been done and, generally no effect is found. However, this is tooth fairy science, not real science. Prayer fails the first test of a scientific hypothesis, which is biologic plausibility. The only potential “mechanism of action” for prayer is the intercessory of a supernatural entity to change physical laws. Anything supernatural that can alter natural law at will can never be “proven” or “disproven” by the methods of science, which assume the existence of consistent, predictable natural laws that can be identified and described empirically. So whatever the outcome of such “studies,” everyone is left either believing or not believing in a supernatural entity. So then we’re back to faith again, and the evdience, such as it is, has no effect on belief or behavior.

    The flip side is that if you treat religious belief and claims as a serious subject of scientific inquiry, then you have to take seriously any hypothesis based on these beliefs even when it is utterly inconsistent with established knowledge. This wastes time and energy studying magic when the hypothesis is implausible from a scientific perspective and the result has no effect on people’s belief or practices. We don’t need studies of prayer or Reiki, or “energy medicine” which can never prove or disprove the proposed supernatural mechanisms and which won’t convince anybody either way.

    Scientific naturalism is a core assumption behind the use of science to understand the world. It is the presumption that natural phenomena can be understood solely on the basis of studying and describing the behavior of natural phenomena, without reference to non-material or supernatural entities and causes. It doesn’t disallow the supernatural (that’s philosophical naturalism/materialism), but it sets it aside from the realm science can help us understand. There is good reason for this. Since we are unlikely to see religious belief disappear, we have to keep it from making a complete mess of science by introducing causes that have to be accepted or rejected by belief alone and cannot be convincingly demonstrated through empirical means.

    Keeping religion and religious hypotheses out of science isn’t a cop out to protect religion but a sensible and effective strategy for keeping science focused on things that can be understood, and hypotheses people will accept or reject on the basis of empirical evidence, without opening up the Pandora’s box of everyone’s individual supernatural beliefs.

  43. Autymn D. C. says:

    forward -> foreword; agenda -> agendum; theories -> hýpotheses (A theory is proven by definition.)

    The RationalWiki page for homeopathy says it has results better than placebo.

  44. Goat says:

    Can u imagine how much money our healthcare system would make if this stuff worked lol itd probably be even MORE expensive

  45. Elizabeth in South Carolina says:

    I didn’t read ALL these comments but did enjoy some of the tennis match! I just found the double helix website (happy 2023) and I’ve been trying to find an obituary about David L. Gann but my googling isn’t up to snuff. Does anyone know anything more about the man’s passing other than “After the founding of D&Y Laboratories, and upon spearheading research with the intent of improving the lot of citizens worldwide, Mr. Gann sadly passed away on June 3rd, 2013” on the double helix/ D&L Laboratories websites? Just curious….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *