By Peter C Gøtzsche
9 Dec 2022
Many alternative practitioners claim that the water in homeopathic drops can remember what was once in it, even though there isn’t a single active molecule left after all the dilutions. In 2019, national Danish TV broadcast similar nonsense in the programme, “The secrets of water,” under the heading Nature, Science and Technology.
It was claimed that water flowing past a closed container of “Grander water” extracted from a mountain spring in the Alps can render the water more orderly and a better cleaning agent. The miraculous alp water, which is sold in a household version for the handsome sum of €1000, defies the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which states that the entropy (the degree of disorder) in a closed system will always increase with time unless you add energy to the system.
Some Germans claimed that with the power of thought you can influence water in a closed container several thousand kilometers away. This was documented by graphs that ran roughly in parallel until people started thinking about the container. Then the graphs diverged, quite considerably so.
In the broadcast, there were interviews with Danish researchers who came up with some generalities that if this were true, the perceptions in the natural sciences would need to be revised. Sure, and if one day we saw a man from space kidnapping people from Earth and transporting them away in a spaceship, so-called alien abduction, there is also something we need to revise.
Science is under attack. It is not helpful that national TV stations, whose economy all citizens need to contribute to involuntarily, publishes utter nonsense under the guise of scientific credibility. The astrophysicist Carl Sagan wrote a whole book about popular nonsense, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. We should take care that this candle does not get blown out.